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NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS REGIONAL REPORT March 2010 GEORGIA

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NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS REGIONAL REPORT March 2010 GEORGIA Powered By Docstoc
					                       NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS REGIONAL REPORT
                                        March 2010


GEORGIA TOURISM DIVISION UPDATE
GENERAL NEWS AND INFORMATION:
     Kids Guide
     The data pull for the Kids Guide will be at 5:00 PM on March 22. All information must be entered and/or updated
     by that date.

        Reminder if you want to use the Georgia Peach Logo
        The contact to approve requests is Vickie Sanders (vsanders@georgia.org ). This applies to the 2010 -20111
        Georgia Marketing Grant as well as all other Georgia Peach logo approvals.

        Georgia Tourism Brochure Room
        If you are participating in the Brochure Room on exploregeorgia.org you should now be receiving invoices for your
        mailings and you can also view your inventory online. If you have questions or if you would like to participate in
        the Brochure Room contact: Peggy Smith at psmith@georgia.org or 404.962.4147.

        Request for images
        I am looking for few EXCELLENT HIGH RESOLUTION images for of people doing things, especially with kids. If
        you have one and would like to share it, please attaché a written permission from the people in the photo! No
        deadline on this one.

GEORGIA VISITOR INFORMATION CENTERS
     GOMM Days
     Visit www.MarketGeorgia.org under the Industry Calendar of Events or under Visitor Centers & Bureaus:
     www.georgia.org/GeorgiaIndustries/Tourism/VICs/Pages/GAonMyMindDays.aspx

GROUP SALES (Katie Baasen & Pam Krusack)
     Request for feedback
     The promise of spring brings excitement to our souls as well as thoughts of all the outdoor activities we can enjoy
     in the coming months. We begin to plan – strategize – but not for just personal agendas – for business too.

        GDEcD has been involved as a show sponsor for both NTA (National Tour Association) and ABA (American Bus
        Association) for the past several years. The strategy behind this sponsorship was to give more state exposure to
        attending delegates and to those destinations/attractions/hotels not attending also. Georgia itineraries were
        promoted as well as an opportunity for partner co-op with these sponsorships. Names of operators interested in
        Georgia information were collected at the booth and sent to partners following each marketplace. Both
        organizations would like for our commitment to the sponsorship for the coming year.

        We are assessing our position in these marketplaces and the ROI to GDEcD and the state partners.

        Katie would like to receive your thoughts on these two sponsorships.
            1) Have you ever been a coop partner with either the NTA or ABA booth?
            2) Is the price point for coop at the right level?
            3) Do you consider the state presence beneficial at these two tradeshows?
            4) Where would you see the funding being more beneficial in these markets?
            5) Does absence become more conspicuous then presence due to the length of time we have been
                sponsors?
        Please send your responses directly to Katie at kbaasen@georgia.org. I’d like to be copied on your response.

        ABA Markeplace Leads
        Contact me if you would like to get a copy of these group travel leads or if you would like to get on my email
        distribution list to receive these group leads when I get them.
       2011 Travel South Showcase
       Mark your calendar! Atlanta is set to host the 2011 Travel South Showcase. The Georgia Department of
       Economic Development (GDEcD), Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB), Georgia World
       Congress Center (GWCC) and the Omni Hotel at CNN Center joined together to serve as official hosts for the
       annual event. Nearly 700 tourism professionals are expected in Georgia from April 3 - 5, 2011. Information will be
       available soon on how you can get involved in the 2010 event in Birmingham and in the planning and executing of
       Showcase 2011 here in Atlanta. We need to show this group what our Georgia partners can do and what
       wonderful hosts/hostesses we are. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Baasen via email at
       kbaasen@georgia.org.

       ABA Top 100 Events (Contact me for a form)
       Nominations are officially open for the 2011 Top 100 Events in North America. Now in its 29th year, ABA's Top
       100 Events in North America recognizes the best group-friendly events for the coming year. Don't miss your
       chance to showcase the top group tour events in your area. ABA surveyed our operators and asked "Do you use
       the Top 100 booklet in planning your tours/charters?”. The answer - an overwhelming 70% of the operators who
       responded said YES! In addition to the operators' feedback, ABA has recorded nearly 800 main-stream media
       hits since September 2009 - helping you promote your destination.

       As the official tourism office from Georgia, Georgia Tourism can submit a maximum of seven nominations to be
       considered for this prestigious distinction. Please note that all ABA members are eligible to submit three
       nominations this year. For the 2011 Top 100 - ABA non-members can submit one nomination for a fee which is
       then refunded if they join the association in 2010. These nominations are separate from your nominations and
       have no bearing on them.

       Please note that note that each Official State/Provincial Tourism Office that submits nominations is not
       guaranteed a winning event. All Official State/Provincial Tourism Office nominations are guaranteed to be
       presented to the committee for review, but not guaranteed to win.

       Our online nominating process is easier than ever to use. The nomination process is completely online. Online
       Nominating Features Include:
          o Ability to fill in your nomination form at your own pace, starting and stopping as often as you like
               throughout the nomination period. Nominations are considered active and are available for updating,
               replacing, deleting and forwarding until Friday, May 7.
          o Ability to electronically forward online nomination form directly to the event to fill out the entry form with
               detailed information that you may not have.

       ABA (American Bus Association) has packaged a list of group travel marketing tools for CVB’s that are
       very easy to implement. To check out the list of suggested marketing tools, click on www.buses.org/node/1211.

MARKETING & COMMUNICAITONS
     Marketing Grant
     The Co-Op Marketing Grant program has a new name…Tourism Marketing Grant. We are working on the final
     guidelines and how the judging will work since all applications will be for ADVERTISING. Fay hopes to have the
     rules and regulations on line by mid-March. The plan is to have a May 1st deadline with awards made July 1,
     2010. This is a goal and is not set in stone.

       2009-2010 CO-OP Grant Final Reports
       The co-op final reports are due 30 after the end of your project or by May 31, 2010. Please send your final reports
       to Fay Tripp at: Fay Tripp, GA Dept of Ec D, 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Macon, GA. 31210 Contact me or
       Fay at ftripp@georgia.org if you have any questions. Please make sure you submit your final report on time so
       that you will get reimbursed for your project.

       Travel Media Marketplace (May 20-22 in Newnan and LaGrange)
          o A press release was sent out announcing details of the 2010 Travel Media Marketplace: LaGrange and
              Coweta County will partner to host this event. I am working on a FAM Tour Itinerary that will include part
              of the Northeast Georgia Mountains region.
                                                                                                        th
          o Communities have been asked to submit an electronic profile sheet. This is due March 26 . I will compile
                                            st
              and send to Atlanta by April 1 . Contact me if you have any questions.
TOURISM FOUNDATION
        New development
        Fred Huff is developing an advertising co-op program with the new ad campaign so that communities can buy into
        the “checklist” of the ads. He is also negotiating special high volume rates with 19 or so print media. I’ll share
        more info as details develop.

WWW.MARKETGEORGIA.ORG AND WWW.EXPLOREGEORGIA.ORG
     Tip of the Month
     If your listing does not have a logo or picture, people will most likely NOT click on your link to find out more
     information. So go to website admin account and update your listing! If need help, contact me at
     csmith@georgia.org or 770-535-5757.

SURVEYS, MARKETING, TRAVEL & INDUSTRY TRENDS
        Cities Use Destination Branding to Lure Tourists -- Destination branding is back in vogue as cities and states
        pursue image makeovers designed to help them stand out in the weak global economy, attract visitors and even
        lure people who might relocate. Some are adopting new themes. Others are recalibrating messages to portray
        themselves as an affordable place to visit. Among those that have launched rebranding efforts in recent years or
        are considering new campaigns, according to branding consultants, are Fresno, Santa Rosa, Calif.; Providence;
        the state of Virginia; Beaverton, Ore.; North Port, Fla.; Peekskill, N.Y.; Los Alamos, N.M.; Fairbanks, Alaska;
        Cleveland; and the state of Florida. City slogans have been around for decades. But image branding is taking on
        more urgency as visitors and meeting planners become more discriminating in spending their shrinking budgets.
         Communities hope a refreshed message can help court new business and convince the locals as much as
        outsiders that their best days aren't over. City advertising has critics, who say the money is better spent
        elsewhere. And quantifying a return on investment can be difficult. But effective campaigns in the past have been
        vital in reinvigorating some destinations, says one expert. For cities such as Dayton, Fresno and Cleveland,
        branding goes beyond tourism. It aims for a new identity that can stir local communities out of economic
        doldrums. To find out more, visit www.usatoday.com/money/industries/travel/2010-02-12-
        citybranding12_ST_N.htm.

        The Convention Crashers – Convention industry insiders disdainfully call them “outboarders” – those vendors
        who set up shop in a hotel suite near a trade show site to promote their products. The industry sees the vendors
        as parasites that latch onto the host convention and reap the advantages of the often-considerable resources
        spent on organizing the show and drawing a crowd – without paying their share of the costs. The vendors, on the
        other hand, argue that they are suffering in the weak economy and that the rock-bottom rates offered by some
        hotels help them stretch their marketing budgets. Caught in the middle of this tug of war are the hotels, which are
        increasingly being asked to keep out the interlopers. According to technology bloggers and others attending the
        Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last month, hotel security people forced some vendors to vacate suites
        in which they were demonstrating products. To find out more, visit
        www.nytimes.com/2010/02/16/business/16shows.html?ref=business.

        Major Changes to Posh U.S. Slopes – For some families heading up the slopes their journeys ended at the top.
        Kids, many helmeted and armed with snowboards, headed toward jumps and terrain parks while their parents
        looked for easier cruiser runs. This scene is playing out at resorts across the country. Though people born
        between 1946 and 1963 have for years fueled the $5 billion ski industry, many are expected to soon exit the
        sport. Adult participation peaks at the age of 47. The last of the boomers are now 46 and a third of last year's
        skiers were 45 or older, according to the National Ski Areas Association. In response, resorts, fearing a steep
        drop in income, are making sweeping moves to lure younger generations. These include offering giant terrain
        parks, more out-of-bounds trails, music concerts and cheaper season passes. To find out more, visit
        www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0301/life-ski-resorts-travel-sports-ramping-up.html.

        Consumer Confidence Slumps Again -- The consumer confidence index figures released yesterday were much
        worse than analysts had expected and showed that Americans are morose about the job market and their
        economic prospects. That bodes ill for the sort of uptick in consumer spending that normally powers economic
        recovery, and could raise pressure on the Obama administration and Congress to create jobs. The index fell
        almost 11 points to 46 in February, down from a revised 56.5 in January and the lowest level since a 40.8 reading
        in April 2009. It erased three consecutive months of improvement, according to the Conference Board, which
        releases the monthly index. To find out more, visit
        www.boston.com/business/articles/2010/02/24/consumer_confidence_slumps_again/.

        Travelhorizons Survey Shows Slow Recovery In Business Travel
        More than half (56 percent) of U.S. adults plan to take a vacation sometime in the next six months, but this is
        seven points down from the percentage that expressed the same intention one year ago, according to the
travelhorizons survey co-authored by Ypartnership and the U.S. Travel Association. Business travel continues its
slow recovery with more than one in seven adults (15 percent) planning at least one business trip during the next
six months, up from 13 percent recorded one year earlier. Both projections come from travelhorizons quarterly
survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,251 U.S. households conducted Feb. 4-12. Of the estimated 127
million U.S. active travelers, half (50 percent) expect to spend the same amount of money on leisure travel
services as they did last year. One-quarter (24 percent) expects to spend more on those trips and 26 percent
plan to spend less. To find out more, visit www.travelpulse.com/Resources/Editorial.aspx?n=67855.

Arizona Study Links Tourism Funding Cuts to Lost Jobs, Revenue – A new study commissioned by the
Arizona Tourism Alliance links cuts to tourism marketing in the state with declines in visitation and millions of
dollars in lost tax revenues. According to the study, Arizona’s tourism industry has lost 17,000 direct tourism jobs
(30,000 total direct and indirect jobs), $2 billion in annual direct visitor spending, and $167 million in annual direct
state and local tax revenues since 2007. The study looked at the results of tourism declines over the last 24
months due to the recession, the backlash of corporate meetings, aggressive steps taken by competitors, and
cuts to marketing budgets, including that of the Arizona Office of Tourism. Any additional redirection of state
marketing resources will translate into lost jobs and lost state tax collections, the study warned. To view the
complete study, visit www.aztourismalliance.org/documents/ImpactReportFinal.pdf.

Museum Attendance Surged in 2009 as Travelers Stayed Closer to Home – Many museums across the
country saw a spike in visitors during the economic slump last year, even as they experienced increasing financial
stress, according to results of a study released last week. More visitors were opting for affordable "staycations,"
rather than expensive trips last year, museum officials reported in a study by the American Association of
Museums. In response, museums spent more on marketing to local visitors. The survey of 481 institutions shows
more than 57 percent saw increased attendance in 2009. More than 40 percent saw significant increases, ranging
from 5 percent to more than 20 percent compared with 2008. Less than a third reported decreasing attendance,
and one in 10 said attendance was flat. To find out more, visit www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2010-03-02-
2009-museum-attendance_N.htm.

Smartphones Have Changed the Way We Travel – There’s a growing army of tech-savvy travelers whose
smartphones are transforming their travel habits. Beyond online maps and travel guides, travelers are turning to
their phones to look up aircraft seat configuration, track taxis, reply to early hotel check-in requests, order room
service and locate nearby colleagues. Airlines and hotels are refining their mobile Web sites and creating
applications, or "apps," for downloading to popular phone models. New services are rolling out daily, such as
"location-based" apps that tap into a phone's GPS to determine the user's location and offer discounts, as well as
pitch products. The apps are making a difference. Airlines and hotels say bookings completed over smartphones
are rising dramatically, even as business over other traditional sales channels including their Web sites, have
turned sour or remain flat. To find out more, visit www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-03-05-
airphones05_CV_N.htm.

Americans Once Again Rolling With Their RVs – RVs got hammered by soaring oil prices, the credit crunch,
and the recession. People were turned off by the industry's gas-guzzling image. And though annual shipments for
the year were only 165,000 units – off another 30 percent from 2008 – year-over-year monthly comparisons
turned consistently positive. Forecasts for 2010 shipments exceed 200,000, according to the Recreational Vehicle
Industry Association (RVIA). As consumers slowly rediscover RV dealer showrooms, they will notice models with
substantial fuel economy gains, a slew of environmentally friendly features, and lots and lots of big, flat-screen
TVs and other electronics. To find out more, visit www.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-
life/2010/03/05/americans-once-again-rolling-with-their-rvs.html.

Agritourism Helps Tennessee Farms Stay in Business – In a tough year for Tennessee’s state budget, the
departments of tourism and agriculture have found a mutual silver lining: a boomlet in agricultural tourism. Milking
cows (sort of), wandering through corn and cotton mazes, watching chicks hatch, having a country wedding and
picking melons are among the activities drawing city folks and their pocketbooks to farms around
Tennessee. Officials from the state Department of Agriculture say more than 600 such operations can be found
across Tennessee today. And some of the farmers have crossed into the cyberspace world, setting up websites
and Facebook pages. Some farmers open their farms for family reunions, for scarecrow festivals, pumpkin picking
or hayrides so that they can help make ends meet. Others view agritourism as a way to educate the public about
farming, while still raising cattle and crops. The tours and activities, some of which pay for themselves – plus a
little extra – include playing in a giant "sandbox" filled with dry, shelled corn instead of sand, and feeding
chickens. To find out more, visit www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2010-03-08-tennessee-farms-
tourism_N.htm.
     “Bags Stay Free” at Two Washington, D.C. Hotels – To counter the frustration many travelers feel toward
     airlines charging for checked luggage, two hotels in Washington, D.C., are offering a “Bags Stay Free”
     promotion. Through the end of June, guests can bring their airline receipt to check-in and the hotel will credit their
     account for the cost of paying for bags to fly on any airline, up to $50. To find out more, visit
     www.doylecollection.com/locations/washington_dc_hotels/the_dupont_hotel/packages/bags_stay_free.aspx

OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF

     Regional Tourism Partner Highlights:
        o Ian MacFarlane, Owner of The Old Clayton Inn in Clayton: We also have big news about our restaurant,
           which is now temporarily closed, but will reopen around mid-March. We have leased the restaurant to
           Dominique Chambon, who is a French Chef and was most recently preparing French food at Waterfall.
           Dominique will reopen as Bistro on Main in the Old Clayton Inn. The Inn continues to be open during the
           transition, and we look forward to working with Dominique in the future. He previously has had French
           restaurants in Dahlonega and has been popular. We look forward to hotel guests and many others
           enjoying the food at Bistro on Main.
        o The region now has three companies that offer Canopy Tours
                Sunburst Stables in Habersham County
                North Georgia Canopy Tours in Lula
                Wildwater Ltd Canopy Tours in Rabun County

     Jeff Stubbs (Regional Tourism Rep in Plantation Trace) is working with the Downtown Valdosta on reviving
     the Art After Dark Event. He wants to know if there are any downtown's in our area that have any events like
     this. If so could you please send him a flyer or email of what types of attractions or activities they have during this
     event. Please email him at jstubbs@georgia.org with any information so that he can discuss it with the Art After
     Dark Committee.

     Mills Marketing Group offers a service. He attends travel shows taking brochures to hand out. This can free you
     up to do your business. For more information, contact Jeffrey Mills at 678-442-6391 or jeff-mmg@bellsouth.net.
     Upcoming shows include:
         o The Pentagon Show May 11 & 12, 2010 (up to 22,000 attendees) - Family vacations, family reunions,
             group tour and travel, government individual travel, government group travel, meetings and conventions
             and individual travel are just some of the types of business that can be found within this captive audience.
         o Jacksonville Senior Expo May 19 & 20 (up to 12,000 attendees)

     Job Opportunities
        The Hart County Chamber of Commerce is seeking a Director of Tourism and Marketing.
        MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:
        Education and Experience: Bachelor's Degree in Marketing or related field. OR Five years
        Marketing/sales experience, preferably in the tourism industry. Experience with Microsoft® Office products
        preferred. Any equivalent combination of education and experience which provides the minimum level of
        qualifications stated above. Licenses and Certifications: Valid Class C Driver's License and a satisfactory
        Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Experience in advertising, promotion and
        public relations, and sales and marketing methods, principles, and practices. Applicant must have excellent
        communication and public presentation skills and proven ability to work with a diverse group of partners and
        the ability to deal courteously and diplomatically with the public. Should also have the ability to establish and
        maintain effective working relationships with government officials, private sector organizations, hotel, and
        media representatives, the public, and employees. Candidates must have a high level of motivation, and
        excellent time-management skills and be highly organized. Follow-up and follow-through are paramount. Must
        be willing to travel 70% of the time and be able to stand or sit for long periods of time as well as be able to lift
        up to 40 pounds.

         Apply by: March 15, 2010. Resume with cover letter stating why you are the best candidate for this position
         must be received by the Chamber by 5pm EST on March 15, 2010 to be considered. For questions, please
         call 706-376-8590. Mail resume and cover letter to Hart County Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 793,
         Hartwell, Georgia 30643 or email to: hartchamber-michele@hartcom.net

     Grants
        o Grants & Other Funding Sources
            We’d like to remind you that there is information on grant programs and other funding sources on
            www.marketgeorgia.org. Go to
            www.georgia.org/GeorgiaIndustries/Tourism/Programs/Pages/Grants.aspx#other
             o   Milledgeville Watson-Brown Foundation Junior Board grants
                 A total of $33,000 is available for historic preservation projects located in Middle Georgia. Eligible
                 counties include Baldwin, Jones, Hancock, Washington, Wilkinson, Twiggs, Bibb, Monroe, Jasper,
                 Putnam, and Morgan. Any non-profit entity in the area may apply. Applications are available by calling
                 478-445-4545 or by emailing at matt.davis@gcsu.edu. Applications are due by March 8.
             o   FY 2010 Save America's Treasures grants
                 Grants are available for preservation and/or conservation work on nationally significant intellectual and
                 cultural artifacts and historic structures and sites. Intellectual and cultural artifacts include artifacts,
                 collections, documents, sculpture, and works of art. Historic structures and sites include historic districts,
                 sites, buildings, structures, and objects. Grants are awarded to Federal, state, local, and tribal
                 government entities, and non-profit organizations through a competitive matching-grant program. For
                 more information and to apply visit www.nps.gov/history/hps/treasures/index.htm. Applications are due
                 by May 21.

        America’s State Parks Alliance Launched
        The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) has established the America's State Parks alliance to
        mobilize and educate the public and policy makers on the positive impact state parks have on local economies
        and public health. America's State Parks will work collaboratively to share resources, best practices and engage
        in national partnerships with corporations for stewardship programs, aiding state parks during a time of severe
        state budget cuts and strong demand for state park experiences. Partnerships with corporations can help
        preserve many of America's most prized natural assets through their affiliation and sponsorship of programs such
        as reforestation, trail preservation and maintenance, and solar-energy installations. To find out more, visit
        www.americasstateparks.com/<http://www.nclist.com/t/3579531/254722/1802/0/>.

        Google is adding a bike lane with its latest online mapping option. The new bicycling directions available on
        Google Maps, starting today (Wednesday), supplement the guidance already provided to motorists and
        pedestrians. Google spent the past six months tweaking its mapping service so it could recommend routes that
        would steer bicyclists away from big hills and heavily congested streets. The feature can be used to pinpoint
        bicycling trails in more than 150 cities. To find out more, visit
        http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/national_world&id=7322261 and
        http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fasterforward/2010/03/google_adds_bicycle_directions.html.

        Water Trail Development: If you are interested in developing a water trail or blueway, go to
        www.garivers.org/garivers/watertrails.html for some great info and resources.

DATES TO REMEMBER
Georgia Travel Industry Calendar of Events
       Go to www.marketgeorgia.org and click on Travel Industry Calendar of Events to find out info on meetings,
       conferences, trade & travel shows, and other tourism related events.
       Contact me if you would like to submit a tourism industry event (meeting, conference, etc.).
       Be sure to bookmark the page and come back often for information on new and valuable tourism related events!

STS Top 20 Events Nominations
      To be considered, an event must have an attendance of at least 1,000 and be in its third year of existence.
      There is a $10.00 entry fee required per event.
      Top 20 Events strongly encourages entrants to support nominations by providing supporting material such as
      photos, posters, brochures, press releases, news clippings and/or volunteer programs.
      To find out more, visit www.southeasttourism.org/top20/. (The deadlines are also listed on the
      www.MarketGeorgia.org Travel Industry Calendar of Events.)



Cheryl Smith, Regional Tourism Rep    csmith@georgia.org ~ 770-535-5757 or 678-640-4355    PO Box 3116, Gainesville, GA 30503

				
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