Visit Durango’s mission is to inspire, create demand and attract visitors through a multi-layered marketing and sales campaign. In 2019, Visit Durango implemented several new strategies and tools to bolster its sales efforts in tour and travel trade, meetings and business development.
Customer relationship management is more important than ever to destination marketing sales. CRM is a business strategy designed to gain new customers and retain existing ones, increase profits and streamline efficiencies. In Q4 2018, Visit Durango invested in Simpleview, the leading tourism industry-specific CRM system for destination marketing organizations. This powerful software allows us to track and manage interactions with current and potential clients, and provides information on local tourism-related businesses.
Also new this year, the Durango area is featured on CVENT, an online request for proposal distribution service. This event management software is used by thousands of meeting planners worldwide to search for meeting and event destinations. Meeting planners submit requests through CVENT directly to Visit Durango, and then we facilitate with our industry partners – local lodging, attractions and restaurants.
How does Visit Durango measure its sales efforts? The Economic Impact Calculator is another new tool we use to measure the impact of meetings and tours. This formula is customized for our destination based on what visitors typically spend to attend a meeting or participate in a group tour. For example, the city of Durango will host the Colorado Municipal Clerks Association Annual Conference in 2019. This meeting will bring 120 attendees from around the state, resulting in 325 room nights and an estimated (direct and indirect) economic impact of over $140,000.
Meanwhile, just one motorcoach tour, including 40 people, typically contributes over $5,000 in positive economic impact for a one-night stay, based on the group’s lodging, dining and activities. Meetings and tours are big business for Durango!
According to a recent Destination International Tourism Economics study, one in five group hotel room nights in the U.S. are influenced by DMOs. These tools allow us to communicate directly with meeting planners and potential customers, and ultimately help convince them to select our destination for their meeting or event.
This summer, Visit Durango embarks on the “Bring It Home” sales campaign to raise awareness of our complimentary travel planning services. Durango and La Plata County provide the perfect location for a variety of groups looking to gather in one of America’s most beloved landscapes – while taking advantage of exceptional meeting venues and group services. Whether it’s as few as 10 people or as many as 200, Visit Durango provides free assistance for businesses, organizations and individuals planning meetings, family reunions or sporting events.
Colorado is ranked the 8th most popular state to visit in the United States. History, culture, access to the outdoors, national parks and incredible food are just a few reasons people love traveling to Durango. As residents, we get to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience each and every day. If you are a member of a company, organization or association that holds meetings or need help planning a reunion or sporting event, bring your meeting home to Durango. Not only will your attendees get to experience Durango firsthand, but they will also make a positive economic impact on our community.
There is so much to experience in Durango that it is important to have some planning assistance to ensure a quality experience for you and your guests. Visit Durango is your one-stop shop for meeting, tour or event planning, providing assistance on lodging availability, transportation, activities, dining and much more. Visit Durango prides itself in having the most up-to-date information and contacts for facilities and services to make it easy for you to plan a successful meeting or event.
Get more from your local tourism office and take advantage of our complimentary tools and expertise. Contact us and bring your next special event, family reunion or meeting home to Durango.
Marsha Wilson is sales manager for Visit Durango, focusing on international, group travel, meetings and sporting events. She has over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including 11 years in destination marketing. She can be reached at 459-9055 or email@example.com.