Summer tourism campaign encourages Sioux Falls visitors to ‘delight in the unexpected’

March 21, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Summer is finally almost in sight. But it has been top of mind for the tourism industry for months already.

Krista Orsack, director of marketing for the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, shares more on what to expect from the visitor industry this season and how your business can get involved.

Tell us about your strategy for the upcoming season. What’s your message, and how are you delivering it?

This will be the first year the CVB will have two separate but complementary campaigns encouraging our target audience to “Delight in the Unexpected” experiences in Sioux Falls. In our primary markets of Chicago, Kansas City, Madison, (Wis.), and Des Moines, we will have cooperative marketing efforts with the South Dakota Department of Tourism featuring inspirational imagery and messaging through traditional and supplementary digital efforts. Those efforts will be supported by a conversion-based digital and social strategy, with the creative updated to align with the state while staying true to the CVB’s primary brand elements.

How are you hoping to promote specific attractions to draw people to Sioux Falls?

The secondary markets within a 300-mile radius of Sioux Falls will include new messaging to feature five attraction partners: The Empire Mall, Washington Pavilion, River Greenway, Butterfly House & Aquarium and Great Plains Zoo. Awareness and retargeting promoting these specific attractions will provide the CVB with metrics to evaluate future cooperative marketing efforts. Based on initial engagement, additional attractions could be added as summer approaches.

Sioux Falls is primarily a drive-in leisure destination, but are you doing anything to promote flying into Sioux Falls?

Yes, modern trends in corporate travel indicate those traveling for business are more likely to extend their stay when a location has enticing festival/cultural events, concerts and sports events. This audience uses a mixture of their go-to travel sites as well as search engines to conduct their research on the destination. Using specific “bleisure” (business leisure) targeting based on these search habits, we will implement a paid search campaign with an accompanying programmatic display campaign. Creative will encourage these users to “Extend Your Trip” to Sioux Falls.

Are there new or enhanced tactics you are specifically excited about that will engage potential visitors this summer?

In the general awareness and engagement phases, we will be targeting travelers through TripAdvisor’s digital programmatic solution, where we will see impression-based data, conversion-based data and in-market arrival data. We will also segment our email database by geography, including copy content that appeals to the location of the subscriber. For example, Chicago subscribers will receive: “Fun Awaits to the West – Coming from the Windy City? Start exploring things to do in Sioux Falls for a memorable vacation.” An enhanced re-engagement tactic will feature a four-page catalog programmatic direct mail piece that will be sent to unique website users through address-matching technology who have not completed a leisure conversion metric.

How can businesses help you attract more tourists? If a business is a potential tourist destination, is there a way that business can work with you?

We hear time and again that Sioux Falls is welcoming and hospitable, so encourage customer service at your business. You can’t buy word-of-mouth recommendations or avoid negative feedback, so manage your social and review channels in a timely manner. Pay attention to your Google Business listing; does it represent you correctly? Front-line employees can participate in our FAM (familiarization tour) to encourage cross-selling attractions throughout the city. Promote the use of the Visit Sioux Falls app, and help celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week May 5-11. Contact the CVB for additional details or assistance related to the programs mentioned above.

How critical is the summer season for tourism in Sioux Falls? And do you have any predictions for what kind of year this will be for the industry?

Summer is critical for Sioux Falls tourism! The latest update from the U.S. Travel Association states that there is some unpredictability in the marketplace the first quarter of 2019 with rising fuel prices, declining consumer sentiment, and uncertainty post-government shutdown. STR Global forecasts lodging will have a 1.9 percent increase in supply and demand, with occupancy being flat. STR Global is a hotel market data and benchmarking solution.

In light of the recent flooding circumstances, we encourage citizens to support their neighbors and communities in cleanup efforts facing everyone in the coming weeks. Many parts of the country are experiencing unusual, difficult weather. This devastation could alter travel plans for some, but we remain cautiously optimistic for the upcoming tourism season.

To see more visitor industry updates from the CVB, click here.

Summer tourism campaign encourages Sioux Falls visitors to ‘delight in the unexpected’

Who else is thrilled to welcome summer travel season? We’ve got insight from the Sioux Falls CVB on how it plans to bring visitors here this year – and what your business can do to get involved.

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