Messages from the President
New Opportunities to Entice More Visitors - January
By: Anna Tanski | January 12, 2015
The calendar has turned and we've welcomed a new year. It's the perfect time to roll out plans for that continue building upon previous success while striving to expand our reach into new or developing markets to entice more visitors to our beautiful city. Visit Duluth has identified several new markets to be targeted in 2015.
According to extensive online research, major winter holidays represent the most popular dates for marriage proposals. Not surprisingly, Christmas ranked the highest, followed by New Year's Eve with Valentine's Day rounding out the top three. This translates into a first quarter opportunity to woo the newly betrothed to choose Duluth for a picture perfect wedding.
The wedding market has experienced tremendous growth in recent years, and Visit Duluth is implementing a significant campaign touting our city's unique amenities and spectacular setting. Destination weddings typically span several days requiring two to three nights lodging for the bridal party, family and guests. Multi-day itineraries feature dining, recreation, organized group activities at local attractions and salon/spa sessions.
These activities occur before any vows are exchanged! Tally up venue rental, catering, florist, DJ, photographer and transportation expenses for the ceremony and reception and the boost to local businesses is substantial. Postings on social media or good old fashioned photos featuring iconic Duluth backdrops such as the Aerial Lift Bridge or Enger Tower offer additional exposure across several platforms.
Weddings and honeymoons are big business and we will be highlighting Duluth at several major bridal trade shows in the Twin Cities, supplemented by a significant push online and in bridal publications. This previously untapped market holds tremendous growth potential for our city.
Marketing efforts focused on the GLBT demographic are ramping up as well. Statistics provided by Lavender magazine show on average, Gay-Lesbian households have a higher median income and more disposable spending available for travel. Duluth is a city that celebrates diversity and we want to make certain this message is being communicated through print and digital promotions. With Minnesota's acceptance and legalization of gay marriage, Duluth is poised to capitalize on this emerging market of potential visitors as well.
Efforts building upon momentum created by Outside Magazine's Best Town Ever designation will go international in 2015. An exhibit booth at hiking and cycling expos in the Netherlands and Belgium prominently features Duluth's mountain biking, hiking and outdoor adventure scene. Visit Duluth has established a partnership with the promoter of these fairs who will exclusively represent our destination.
This initiative is coupled with an increased participation level in the Brand USA co-op program. Through Explore Minnesota Tourism, Visit Duluth is partnering with five other Minnesota cities to promote our state in five countries. This creates a global presence for Duluth we could not afford on our own.
New opportunities abound in 2015 to welcome more visitors than ever before. Cheers to a bountiful year filled with exploration, adventure and success!
Anna Tanski, President/CEO