Destination Marketing on the Road!

Today, modern road tripping is a fast growing hobby, and not just a means of vacationing. Groups & individuals dedicated to the art of the road trip, known either as professional road trippers or road enthusiasts, are becoming prevalent online. NTOs & DMOs have repeatedly invested on the road trip concept towards their tourism campaigns in the past, however, the last couple of years more & more marketing agencies are reinventing the concept through innovative & out-of-the box promotional campaigns.

To this direction,  the state of Utah kicked off a 2.4-million dollar advertising campaign with TV, radio, magazine and online advertisements designed to bring visitors and their money to The Beehive State.  The first thing you notice about is a bright-red, old-school SUV and how it is overloaded with virtually every item an outdoor enthusiast could possibly use,  their symbol for plenty to do in one of America’s most beautiful states.The as-yet-unnamed road trip party vehicle — carrying bicycles, water skis, golf clubs, a canoe, coolers, tents, sleeping bags and a bunch of other stuff — remains one of the centerpieces in the Utah Office of Tourism’s spring and summer marketing campaign.

The $2.4 million national advertising campaign officially launched Tuesday at the Capitol.

“The campaign was so successful last summer that we decided to use the same spots again this year,” Leigh von der Esch, managing director of the Utah Office of Tourism, said in a news release.

The campaign includes television spots on local stations in Denver, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. In addition, cable spots will begin running nationwide this week on networks including A&E, Animal Planet, Bravo, Fox Sports, Fox News, HGTV, the History Channel, MSNBC, National Geographic and Biography.

Ads will also run online, as well as in print in targeted travel magazines.

“Last year, our non-winter campaign … generated over 800,000 visitors into our state and resulted in $56 million of additional tax revenue,” Gov. Gary Herbert told the audience in the Capitol rotunda Tuesday. “So, for every dollar we’ve invested, we get about $18 in return.”

The governor likened marketing expenditures to an investment for the state: “You put money in, and you get money back.

“We’re getting a significant return on our investment, which helps pay for government services,” he said. “Tourism is a great economic development program.”

Von der Esch said the campaign has been successful thus far, helping the state trend upward in the number of out-of-state visitors that choose Utah has a vacation destination.

“Our messaging is resonating,” she said. “Everything you want to do is so close by. You can get to the national parks so quickly. You can do five in a week. Our state parks have fabulous value and (there are also) the rodeos and the community events.”

As for the Wagoneer, a spokesman for the tourism office told the Deseret News the office will offer a gift to someone who comes up with an appropriate moniker for the old-school SUV.

On the same course, Western Australia went one step ahead and launched the “Extraordinary Taxi Ride” campaign which sees 11 pairs of “taxi passengers” journey through Western Australia over a period of nine weeks.

With their taxi driver, passengers from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK will go on a four to seven day trip through iconic Western Australia destinations.

Western Australia’s most extraordinary taxi has set off on an epic 10,000km journey to explore the State’s extraordinary experiences as part of a world-first tourism campaign.

Environment Minister Donna Faragher, representing the Tourism Minister, today waved off the taxi as it started its nine-week journey from Perth and said the Extraordinary Taxi Ride would promote WA’s people and places to the world.

“From some of the world’s finest beaches and bays, to ancient rock formations, the journey will show off the State’s extraordinary experiences, and fantastic communities,” Mrs Faragher said.

“Doug Slater, recently voted WA’s most extraordinary taxi driver, will drive 22 competition winners chosen from around Australia and the world to many of the extraordinary locations.

“Passengers will video record their personal experiences and a broadcast crew will capture the action along the way – which people across the world can watch on the campaign website.”

Mrs Faragher said the Extraordinary Taxi Ride would go through some of Western Australia’s 98 national parks, including some of international significance.

She said Shark Bay and Purnululu National Park were World Heritage Properties, a status shared with East Africa’s Serengeti, the pyramids of Egypt and the Great Barrier Reef.

Tourism WA acting chief executive officer Stephanie Buckland said the extraordinary taxi ride was a modern-day twist on a real taxi journey in the 1930s.

“The taxi is an internationally-recognised symbol of travel but inspiration came from a real taxi ride in the 1930s when Charlie Heard drove three elderly lady passengers from Melbourne to Darwin and back,” she said.

“This WA-based journey is a unique way to divide the State into individual legs, which will be available for sale as holiday packages throughout the campaign.

“It won’t be possible to cover every destination, but many more places will be featured on the campaign website and in ongoing public relations activities.”
Ms Buckland said the extraordinary taxi would be accompanied by a roadside assistance mechanic from RAC uuu and Mr Slater would be fully rested after plenty of breaks.

“Our travelling group will receive warm greetings from local communities, as major town centres hold welcoming events,” she said.

“Experience Extraordinary is the new long-term brand for WA, and the Extraordinary Taxi Ride is the first in a series of marketing campaigns to bring this new brand message to life.”


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