In 2015, Longwoods International released a breakthrough study that irrefutably tied Tourism advertising to community awareness and appreciation for more than its assets and attractions. Indeed, researchers discovered a “Halo Effect” that extended out across real estate, career building, college selection and retirement.
After interviewing over 18,000 out-of-state consumers about their attitudes toward ten destinations (state and community), Longwoods found that respondents had a 65% higher opinion of a place if they had seen an ad for that destination…as a good place to live (not just visit). Those same respondents had a 79% higher opinion of the destination as a good place to start a career and start a business. There was a 66% lift in opinion of the destination as a good place to attend college and a 79% bump as a good place to retire. And, when those individuals actually visited the destination, the image lift was even more complete. All this from a “Tourism” ad (For the full synopsis of the “Halo Effect” study, go to Longwoods-Intl.com).
For those critics of communities, regions and states investing tax revenue into Destination Marketing, these findings clearly indicate that cutting a DMO’s budget is a sensationally bad idea. For those places with an interest in the long-range viability and sustainability of their communities, the work of a DMO is akin to a match-maker, opening the door of awareness and possibility.
Tourism truly is the first date for Economic Development.
If we didn’t ask “Why,” this would be about Heads in Beds.
The “Why” behind Destination Marketing is economic development, the generation of personal and community wealth and an enhanced Quality of Life for all residents. The “How” is encouraging and marketing great experiences in our community that everyone, visitor and resident alike can enjoy. The “What” is, hey…we’ve got some cool hotels so you don’t have to go home tonight.