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MARKETING A TOURIST-FRIENDLY SESQUICENTENNIAL. Virginia Tourism Corporation November 9, 2009. The Importance of Civil War Tourism in Virginia. 22% of travelers in our target markets say Civil War historic sites are “significantly important” when choosing a travel destination

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marketing a tourist friendly sesquicentennial

MARKETING A TOURIST-FRIENDLY SESQUICENTENNIAL

Virginia Tourism Corporation

November 9, 2009

the importance of civil war tourism in virginia
The Importance of Civil War Tourism in Virginia
  • 22% of travelers in our target markets say Civil War historic sites are “significantly important” when choosing a travel destination
  • 6% of all trips to Virginia include Civil War History
    • 2.5 = average party size
    • 3.5 = average length of stay (1.5X average)
    • One in 7 tourism dollars come from travelers engaged in Civil War History
    • 972 = average spending per travel party (2.3X average)

Source: VTC Attitudinal Study, Wave 2. and VTC Travel Profile FY08-09

the importance of virginia in civil war tourism
The Importance of Virginia in Civil War Tourism

Source: VTC Attitudinal Study, Wave 2. Q36 “Which of the following do you feel the destinations offer to a significant degree? Choose only the ones you feel are offered to a significant degree for that destination.” – Civil War History

understanding the tiers other leisure travelers
Understanding the Tiers:Other Leisure Travelers

PRIMARY TARGET

GROWTH TARGET

Origin Markets:

Philadelphia

New York City

South Carolina

Ohio

Atlanta

Demographics:

35 – 55 years old

Bachelor’s Degree or Higher

Traveling with Children (7 – 18 y/o)

Upper-middle Class

Trip Type:

Extended Weekend / Traditional Week-long Vacation

Year-round with Emphasis on Spring and Summer

  • Origin Markets:
      • Washington, DC,
      • Baltimore,
      • North Carolina,
      • Virginia
  • Demographics:
      • 25 – 45 years old
      • Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
      • Traveling with Children
      • Middle - Upper-middle class
  • Trip Type:
      • Short Getaway / Extended Weekend
      • Year-round with Emphasis on Spring and Summer
understanding the tiers other leisure travelers6
Understanding the Tiers:Other Leisure Travelers
  • Virginia is the best place to take a relaxing trip with your family. Beautiful scenery, outdoor recreation, beaches, theme parks and historic and cultural sites offer a variety of activity to keep the entire family entertained year after year.

Source: Sesquicentennial Qualitative Research

understanding the tiers other leisure travelers7
Understanding the Tiers:Other Leisure Travelers
  • Gen X less interested in history
    • But are interested in culture and understanding their world
  • Children more interested in history than their parents
    • But needs to be interactive and engaging
  • Most likely to include “must-see” historic sites on bigger vacation
    • Become quickly overwhelmed by heavy content
    • Prefer presentations that “bring history to life”

Source: Sesquicentennial Qualitative Research

understanding the tiers culture heritage travelers
Understanding the Tiers:Culture & Heritage Travelers

WHO THEY ARE

  • Total Trips: 32%
  • Total Spending: 51%
  • Median age: 47
  • Married: 59%
  • Gender: 50% male/female
  • Median Income: $62,500
  • College Education: 51%
  • Party Composition:
    • 39% couples
    • 29% traveling with children

Source: VTC Travel Profile and BCF Media Planning

understanding the tiers culture heritage travelers9
Understanding the Tiers:Culture & Heritage Travelers
  • WHAT THEY WANT
  • To Understand Their World
    • Enjoy learning how the past influences today’s society and their own lives
    • View history like a puzzle with each piece making their world a little clearer
  • To Make History Relevant
    • Know less about the Civil War than other periods of history.
    • Like sites interactive and relevant to today.

Source: Sesquicentennial Qualitative Research

understanding the tiers civil war travelers
Understanding the Tiers:Civil War Travelers

WHO THEY ARE

  • Total Trips: 6%
  • Total Spending: 14%
  • Median age: 52
  • Married: 63%
  • Gender: 53% male
  • Median Income: $57,500
  • College Education: 51%
  • Party Composition:
    • 41% couples
    • 28% traveling with children

Source: VTC Travel Profile and BCF Media Planning

understanding the tiers civil war travelers11
Understanding the Tiers:Civil War Travelers
  • WHAT THEY WANT
  • To See Where It Happened
    • Learn about history by reading books at home.
    • Visit sites to gain context – not information.
    • Lighter content is OK if the site provides authentic context.
  • To Memorialize The Past
    • Seek authenticity most
    • Passionate about preserving historic sites

Source: Sesquicentennial Qualitative Research

the universal message
The Universal Message:

Visiting Virginia for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War gives Americans a greater understanding of how the Civil War is fundamental in appreciating the United States of today.

With the majority of major battles fought here, Virginia offers more pieces of the big picture than any other state.

creating interest
Creating Interest
  • CULTURE-HERITAGE TRAVEL
  • Promotion:
  • Partner with cultural attractions and other periods of history
  • Content:
  • Make connections with today
  • Interactive: Artifacts and Reenactments most appealing
  • Special events appeal to most
  • Anniversary Importance:
  • Most likely to travel
  • OTHER LEISURE TRAVELERS
  • Promotion:
  • Package with other leisure activities
  • Important to share history with kids, but want to relax
  • Content:
  • Content must be light
  • Kids must be engaged
  • Expect lively, special events during anniversaries
  • Anniversary Importance:
  • Limited
  • CIVIL WAR BUFFS
  • Promotion:
  • Package less well-known sites
  • Promote preservation-related causes
  • Content:
  • Depth dictated by strength of connection with today.
  • Less well-known sites require most depth
  • Must be authentic
  • Anniversary Importance:
  • Likely to travel
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