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2011 Genesee County Tourism Marketing Plan 210 East Main Street Batavia, NY 14020 (585) 343-7440 www.VisitGeneseeNY.com INTRODUCTION U The Tourism Promotion Agency will continue a positive and aggressive approach in marketing and promoting Genesee County in 2011. Our goal is to establish Genesee County as a major player in tourism in pursuing the very competitive tourism dollar. The Genesee County Tourism Promotion Agency’s mission statement: “Positively impact the economy of Genesee County by aggressively marketing all aspects of tourism including cultural and agri-tourism, motor coach, con- ventions, meetings, related travel to our area.” We will use aggressive marketing and promotion, sound administrative manage- ment, and fiscal responsibility to attain our objectives in the consumer, convention, and group & special interest markets. The goals and objectives are to ultimately increase revenue for Genesee County, create jobs, generate additional outside tourism dollars to boost the local economy, and improve the awareness and importance of tourism to the business community. • The objectives outlined on the following pages detail our continuing and new program strategies and actions. Our marketing plan is based on county funding at the 2010 allocation level and the possi- bility of restored funding from the State’s Matching Funds Program. Programs will be finalized once all funding has been defined. OBJECTIVE 1 INCREASE TOURIST TRADE TO GENESEE COUNTY FROM MAJOR DOMESTIC MARKETS Strategy Promote Genesee County, primarily within a 300-mile radius, as an attractive tourist destination with emphasis on our ideal location, unique attractions, events and affordable accommodations. Actions • Promote Genesee County as being an affordable, ideal location for overnight stays, while traveling through, or visiting Western New York. • Develop collaborative marketing programs with regional/cross regional tourism agencies to enhance our marketing investments. • Produce and distribute 150,000 visitor guides highlighting our tourism assets within the county, as well as the close proximity to regional attractions. Quantities and distribution may be reduced due to budget cuts. • Develop and place advertising promoting Genesee County in major media within a 300- mile radius with a focus on feeder markets. Monitor and maintain a monthly/yearly in- quiry chart to track all tourism inquiries. • Advertise and promote Genesee County’s tourism offerings through various online ef- forts (web sites, social media, e-communications, blogs) • Foster collaboration with in-county tourism partners to produce visitor opportunities and programming. • Conduct bulk mailings of tourism literature to American Automobile Associations (AAA’s) and Canadian Automobile Associations (CAA’s) in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New England & Mid-Atlantic states and Southern Ontario markets. A constant supply will be ensured by providing the auto touring agents with re-order post cards. • Conduct personal sales calls on major American Automobile Associations (AAA’s) and Canadian Automobile Associations (CAA’s) in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New England States and Ontario markets. • Distribute Genesee County literature at the Angola, Clarence, Pembroke, Scottsville, Warners, Seneca, Schuyler, Waterloo Outlet Mall, Pattersonville, New Baltimore, and the Sloatsburg Information Centers on the New York State Thruway. Also distribute at information centers on major routes in Chautauqua-Alleghany, Salamanca, Binghamton, and the Thousand Islands. Distribution may be reduced due to budget cuts. • Retain brochure distribution service (Yankee Doodle and Brochures Unlimited) to dis- tribute Genesee County brochures to over 280 Western and Central New York locations. • Ensure the fulfillment of all generated inquiries in a timely fashion. • Conduct basic market research conversion study to evaluate advertising efforts. • Promote our wide selection of affordable accommodations, diverse dining, and multi- tude of year-round events, cultural assets, attractions and shopping opportunities through various advertising and promotional campaigns. • Continue to develop online marketing programs and opportunities. • Participate with consumer travel shows directed at the individual market, in our 300-mile driving radius. • Provide the NYS Division of Tourism with our tourism inventory to be included in State promotions. • Produce and encourage co-operative advertising efforts with local, regional and state- wide tourism partners. • • Develop and distribute promotional collateral i.e.: Dining Guide, events calendar, map pads, etc. • Develop leisure market promotion video(s) that can be utilized in online and television advertising. Variation to be looped at participating in-county hotels/attractions. • New Tourism web site scheduled to launch end of March 2011. • New for 2011: Genesee Valley Outdoors: 5-county collaborative on hik- ing/biking/outdoor enthusiast (Rochester, Livingston, Orleans, Wyoming, and Al- leghany – formerly referenced as Genesee Valley Pathways program.) • Continue the Routes 5 & 20 Collaborative program with Livingston, Ontario, Cayuga, and Skaneateles. Culinary tourism is the 2011 program. • Strengthen the Country Byways program in 2011. Utilize the new Country Byways At- tractions Brochure in our marketing and distribution. Wyoming County dropped out of the program in 2010 due to lack of state funding. Country Byways continues with Gene- see and Orleans Counties. • Provide a local “matching funds” program to in-county tourism partners who’s marketing objectives are in line with the TPAs function. Funds are limited and are on a first-come, first served basis. • Host industry FAM tours to educate AAA/CAA, info center Staff, travel writers and tour planners about Genesee County. OBJECTIVE 2 INCREASE THE U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL CHARTER AND MOTOR COACH TOURS TO GENESEE COUNTY Strategy Continue to create awareness and increase visitation to Genesee County by motor coach groups. Promote ideal location for “hub & spoke” Western New York itineraries, unique group touring options, advantage of lower hotel rates & taxes for those buses touring the area or pass- ing through. Opportunities identified for increasing hotel stays by targeting operators who are traveling through thru us and would use our hotel properties as the overnight vs. narrowing in on Niagara Falls tour destinations. Actions • Represent and promote Genesee County’s group tour partners at the following na- tional/international trade shows: - Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) – November - American Bus Association (ABA) – January/February - Greater Niagara Region’s Annual NYC Marketplace – September • Identify those operators who would use us as a halfway point for overnight stays en route to other destinations. • Strengthen relationships with day trip operators who would frequent our group tour partner stops with multiple groups. • Encourage receptive operators to utilize our hotels and Batavia branch Enterprise for their FIT travelers who do fly/drives into the US. • Participate in regional and state-wide efforts to solicit motor coach groups. • Conduct telephone sales calls to tour planners on a regular basis. • Continue to develop suggested group tour itineraries, incentive programs, and services provided to tour planners. Work with tour planners to customize programs based on their wants/needs. • Continue direct mail efforts to maintained data base of tour planner contacts. • Conduct Fall Familiarization (FAM) tour for tour planners. • Advertise where appropriate in trade publications. • Encourage travel writers to write editorials on our unique attractions and ideal location. • Generate qualified group tour sales leads to area tourism businesses that are equipped to accept motor coach business. • Educate and assist local industry with enhancing or developing their group tour oppor- tunities. OBJECTIVE 3 DEVELOP AND MARKET GENESEE COUNTY’S MEETING FACILITIES AND OVERNIGHT ACCOMMODATIONS TO CONVENTION/CONFERENCE/SPECIAL INTEREST/SPORTS GROUPS Strategy Promote and market Genesee County’s central location for hosting meetings, conferences, spe- cial interest and sports events while highlighting our new facilities, affordability, and safe, friendly environment. Actions • Created new Group Sales position within the tourism agency. This is the first time the TPA has had a staff person dedicated solely to attracting group sales. • Emphasis on special interest/sports market events that occur in shoulder seasons/mid- week. • Research and sales outreach to identified groups • Utilize new sports market and special interest group web site content, along with e- communications as primary sales tools. • Host site visits for interested parties. • Utilize referrals from past event organizers in our marketing and sales approach. • Build upon our offering of pre/post conference tours • Develop and distribute a “scaled down” print piece to highlight our meeting and event space offerings • Use the strength of our ideal location, wide selection of meeting facilities to encourage groups to “Meet in the Middle” of Buffalo and Rochester. • Encourage local residents to serve as ambassadors of the community to bring their group, sports or association meeting to Genesee County. www.BeAMeetingMaker.com . HTU UTH • Provide welcome bags that will be distributed to convention delegates when staying in Genesee County. Chamber staff to assist event coordinators as required. • Maintain active membership in Empire State Society Association Executives (ESSAE) and participate in the annual trade show. • Develop a SMERF (Social, Military, Education, Recreation, and Fraternal) database of groups that meet and have requirements for overnight accommodations and meeting space, which would consider Genesee County for their next meeting. • Hold follow-up telephone sales calls for off & shoulder season business using SMERF database mailings. • Promote Genesee County as a site to host athletic events including tournaments, meet- ings, and championships. Maintain inventory and data of county-wide facilities online. • Seek out special interest groups and associations to hold meetings, trade shows, and special events in Genesee County. • Market Genesee County to various religious organizations to attract more crusades and retreats similar to Kingdom Bound. OBJECTIVE 4 INCREASE VISITATION OF CANADIAN TOURISTS TO GENESEE COUNTY FROM THE PROVINCE OF ONTARIO Strategy Promote Genesee County (within southern Ontario) as a visitor destination, with emphasis on golf, attractions, shopping, fall foliage, and hotel packages. Actions • Promote Genesee County at the following Ontario shows: - Toronto RV Show – New in 2011. -Spring Travel and Leisure Show (Toronto, Ont.) - London Ontario Golf Show (London, Ont.) - Ontario Motor coach Association (Toronto, Ont.) - Toronto National Women’s Show • Develop, market and book golf getaways to 3 golf courses and 7 hotels in Genesee County. Primary audience is Southern Ontario golfers. Direct mail brochure, attend shows, advertise, follow up e-communications, personalized and customized servicing of packages booked through the Chamber office. • Participate in Rochester TPA’s spring and or fall Canadian Program – A Welcome Surprise! Minimal investment for large media/campaign exposure. Print, radio, e- communications, travel shows, web site components. • Coordinate large co-op program with Darien Lake Theme Park Resort. 400,000+ tar- geted direct mail campaign driving accommodations packages to the theme park and Genesee County. Darien Lake Resort reports that over 50% of the accommodations bookings on-site are from Southern, Ontario market. • Perform site visit trainings and distribute our visitor guides, and current marketing mate- rials to CAA locations throughout Ontario. • Advertise in Canadian publications and online, direct mail to inquiry database. • Participate in cross-border programming as opportunities arise. OBJECTIVE 5 MARKET AND PROMOTE GENESEE COUNTY’S PREMIER LOCATION AS A VENUE FOR SPECIAL EVENTS Strategy Promote Genesee County’s attractive central location, midway between Buffalo and Rochester to host various tourist events. Actions • Publicize existing Genesee County facilities as possible venues for entertainment festi- vals, trade shows, and athletic tournaments. • Promote various events in Genesee County online at GeneseeCalendar.com . • Encourage and work closely with area event coordinators on co-op ads and shared marketing efforts to increase the tourist traffic to their specific event. • Advertise events in relevant publications. OBJECTIVE 6 INCREASE GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL TOURISM BUSINESS FOR GENESEE COUNTY THROUGH COOPERATIVE EFFORTS WITH THE GREATER NIAGARA REGION Strategy Leverage the Region’s wealth of visitor opportunities to enhance awareness of Genesee County’s location within New York State. Promote Genesee County as an attractive destination in the Greater Niagara Region with our Regional partners including, Wyoming, Orleans, Erie and Niagara Counties. * Note: An updated 5-county Attractions Map brochure (100,000 qty) was completed in spring of 2010. Distribution in racks and fulfillment in response to web site inquiries were performed. There was no additional programming in 2010 due to lack of State funding. 2011 Actions if state funding is restored: • Develop and participate in regional marketing programs to “sell” our Western New York area • Participate as a region in state-wide tourism promotions. • Redesign of the regional website, www.GreaterNiagara.com • Develop regional advertising campaigns and promotional materials. • Incorporate the regional concept into our county initiatives. • Participate in region sponsored advertising efforts to minimize duplication by individual TPAs • Return to the popular Greater Niagara’s Harvest & Haunts program. A collection of fall festivals and events throughout the 5-county region. OBJECTIVE 7 INCREASE GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL TOURISM BUSINESS FOR GENESEE COUNTY THROUGH COOPERATIVE EFFORTS WITH THE THREE COUNTY REGIONAL PROGRAM ~ Greater Niagara’s “Country Byways” (Genesee, Orleans, and Wyoming Counties) *Note: As of 2010 this is a 2-county program. It is unclear whether Wyoming County will return to this partnership if state funding is restored. Strategy Promote Genesee County as an attractive destination in the Greater Niagara Region with our rural tourism partners Wyoming and Orleans Counties. Actions • Promote our “Country Byways” to the individual and group tour markets by offering them more to see and do while staying overnight in Genesee County. • A new 2-county Attractions Map Brochure was produced and printed in late summer 2010. Nearly 200 visitor opportunities were plotted on the map (25,000 copies). It will be distributed in racks and to inquiry response in fall of 2010. Distribution will continue into 2011 in response to visitor inquiries, brochure distribution services, and at various travel/trade shows. Reprint will occur as needed. • Redesign of the CountryByways.com web site is slated for fall of 2010. The web site will be geared toward leisure and domestic/international group travel. 2011 advertising will promote the new site’s content and visitor opportunities. • Attend motor coach shows to encourage more group tours into the Country Byways area. • Develop seasonal ad campaigns to nearby markets to promote our area tourist attrac- tions and accommodations as an affordable, close to home vacation destination. • Conduct Annual FAM Tours for travel industry professionals. • Update and reprint as needed a group tour planner to encourage group travel. • Country Byways is expanding on its driving itineraries by developing themed drive/bicycle/motorcycle routes. • Country Byways is exploring the opportunities of including Livingston County Tourism into the program. • Continue to develop new and existing programs.
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