Grassroots Destination Marketing Initiatives

Here are some fresh & interesting grassroots marketing initiatives, to give us some food for thought:

Ireland & Food Tourism Development

Fáilte Ireland has launched a search for 12 “food champions” who will build Ireland’s reputation as a food tourism destination.

The tourism body is encouraging the public to nominate people with “a resounding passion and belief in Irish food, together with a commitment and drive to actively influence and shape the future of Irish cuisine and food tourism in their region”.

Nominees could include people who own or run restaurants or other food service business, chefs and food producers.

Once selected, the 12 people will travel to Prince Edward County in Canada on a fact- finding mission. This region has become a food tourism destination because of initiatives like the Prince Edward County Taste Trail. When the group returns home, they will work with their local communities to help:

  • Build Ireland’s food tourism reputation and encourage visitors to stop, spend and stay longer
  • Develop networks & relationships within local business, organisations and regional stakeholders
  • Enhance regional knowledge base & develop engaging food experiences
  • Utilise food tourism as an economic development strategy


Canada & its Millions of Directors

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has launched a new initiative inviting Canadians to submit videos highlighting Canada as a tourism destination.

The 35 Million Directors project aims to collect hundreds of videos shot by amateur filmmakers that showcase the best Canadian tourism destinations, activities and events.

The entries, uploaded on a dedicated new website, will be assessed by a panel of expert judges, before being edited into a series of promotional advertisements to encourage international travel to Canada. Professional directors will craft the public’s narratives into a grassroots campaign highlighting the country and its tourism offerings.

Prizes will be awarded to winning entries, and the final film will premiere at the Tourism Industry Association of Canada Congress event in November before being broadcast on national television and the web.


Georgia Tourism & the SmackDown Challenge

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) launched a Challenge with which Georgia tourism professionals are encouraged to assemble teams to work together on a creative  proposal that will focus on Georgia residents.

The Smacktown Challenge was a statewide competition between tourism organizations, attractions, and travel partners and hosted by GDEcD. Each competitor submitted a proposal outlining a tourism marketing campaign for 2013 that will promote inner-state travel for all communities across Georgia. GDEcD will implement a version of the proposed plan in 2013.

It was recently announced that Greater Rome Convention & Visitors Bureau (GRCVB) was the team to win it. Check out their proposal in this video:

Key objectives for the proposals were to: Provide measurable economic impact to Georgia during the month(s) of the promotion in 2013 by encouraging and inspiring Georgia residents to stay in-state and spend more money during February and/or August; Generate qualified leads for Georgia Tourism Partners; Drive measurable results to include web site hits, travel guide requests, media attention, event attendance numbers, hotel stays, etc.; The campaign should contain some type of control mechanism to ensure that participants are indeed Georgia residents.


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