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Best Practices in Southern Tourism
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  1. Best Practices in Southern Tourism Dr. Rich Harrill Director International Tourism Research Institute SOUTHERN GOVERNORS’ ASSOCIATION

  2. About the International Tourism Research Institute • Provides economic development projects and tourism research to regional, national, and international clients • Customer segmentation, market profiling, economic impact, economic feasibility, and tourism planning Photos from top: Elisabeth Miskell—Texas Tourism; Tennessee.gov; West Virginia Division of Tourism

  3. Best Practices in Southern Tourism • Governor Sonny Perdue’s “Soul of the South” tourism initiative • 16 case studies • Can be adapted by state and local tourism agencies, convention and visitors bureaus, chambers of commerce, and economic development commissions Photos from top: Virginia Tourism Corporation; Show Me Missouri!, Kelly Padgett; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism

  4. Best Practices in Southern Tourism • Southern tourism is the economic development that won’t go offshore! • All southern communities have something to offer potential visitors • Southern tourism must protect and sustain community quality of life and the natural environment Photos from top: West Virginia Division of Tourism; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Rebecca Conners—Texas Tourism; Georgia Department of Economic Development

  5. Alabama Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail • Funded by Retirement Systems of Alabama to diversity pension funds • 378 holes over 100 miles of golf! • Boost tourism, attract retirees, spur economic growth Photos: RTJGolf.com, Getty images.

  6. Arkansas Community Partnership Marketing Program • $50,000 each year • Unique, creative proposals with a promotional plan • The Parks & Tourism contribution cannot exceed 25 percent of the total project costs ($25,000 limit) Photos: Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism

  7. Florida Cuban Heritage Trail • Over 100 sites from Tampa to Miami • Celebrates Cuban contribution to Florida’s culture • Features a four-day tour of highlighting the state’s colorful history with Cuba Photos: VISIT FLORIDA

  8. Georgia Tourism Development Alliance of Georgia • Increase awareness of the importance of tourism to Georgia’s economy • Tourism education and advocacy • Facilitating partnerships between stakeholder organizations Photos: Georgia Department of Economic Development

  9. Kentucky The Bourbon Trail • Seven distilleries open to tours in the heart of the Bluegrass region • Six of seven offer free tours and some even tempt you will samples at the end of the tour! • Heaven Hills Distilleries Bourbon Heritage Center Photos from top: Heaven Hill Distilleries; Kentucky Distillers Association; Buffalo Trace Distillery

  10. Louisiana A Place Called America’s Wetland Initiative • Shell Oil Company, campaign sponsor, created “info-stations” in 300 of its retail outlets • 115 wildlife-viewing venues in 22 coastal parishes • Two large-scale media tours generated 2,295,000 visitor impressions in numerous publications Photos: Louisiana Office of Tourism

  11. Maryland The Historic National Road: The Road That Built the Nation • 170 miles in Maryland from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to the Mason-Dixon Line • Protecting “America’s Main Street” • Federal designated in June 2000 • Maryland National Road Association Photos from top: galenfrysinger.com; byways.org

  12. Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway • 444-mile National Scenic Byway and All-American Road • Almost 400 types of wildlife, including over 22 endangered species • Over 800 types of plants, including dogwoods, live oak, water tupelo, and bald cypress Photos: Mississippi Development Authority / Division of Tourism

  13. Missouri “Streams of Consciousness” Campaign • More than 2 million Missourians participate in canoe and boating activities • Canoe outfitter trash bags • 200,000 bags to canoe liveries statewide • Eight gallons of trash with bag and trash receptacles along the river Photos: Show Me Missouri!: Jim Welch, Gene McDaniel, Lisa MacConnell, Kelly Padgett

  14. North Carolina Integrated Brand Marketing • Media relations and advertising • Innovative sales and travel trade programs • Leveraging cooperative partnership • Record 4.6 percent increase in visitation to www.VisitNC.com versus 2003, reaching 4.8 million visitors in 2004 Photos: NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development

  15. Oklahoma Wild West Territory Cooperative Regional Marketing • 10 rural Oklahoma communities in 3 counties • $75 annually with meetings in all member towns • Toll free number and Web site, www.wildwesttours.com • Four-color, 16-page brochure Photos: Oklahoma Tourism

  16. South Carolina Heritage Corridor Farmer’s Association • 30 members in two years and 14 counties • Four Festivals highlighting individual farms • “Falling for Farms” tours in spring and fall • 2nd Annual HCFA Agricultural Celebration Photos: South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism

  17. Tennessee Scenic Beauty Marketing, “The Stage is Set For You” • Music & Arts • Sports & Recreation • History & Heritage • Nature & Outdoors • Attractions Photos: Tennessee.gov

  18. Texas Texas Legislative Tourism Caucus • Sound legislative policies to support tourism employment • Provide incentives and oppose taxes • Sustain and increase funding to encourage travel to and within Texas • 78 legislators have joined in less than two years; Tourism Unity Dinner, Annual Summer Caucus Family Seminar, meetings, and newsletters Photos from top: Elisabeth Miskell; Daksha Patel; Rebecca Conners—Texas Tourism

  19. Virginia Heritage Tourism Toolkit and Site Map • Legal tools for protecting buildings and landscapes, physical tools for rehabilitating and restoring sites, and management tools for operating these places as a tourist destination • Interactive Heritage Site Map: www.SoVeryVirginia.com Photos: Virginia Tourism Corporation

  20. West Virginia Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance • 60 members from PA, MD, DE, VA, DC, and WVA from who cross-market their destination to travel media • Since 2003, two travel media marketplaces, two Web sites, six news releases • All volunteer, no budget Photos: West Virginia Division of Tourism

  21. Conclusions • Innovative funding • Media and marketing partnerships • Regional tourism • Political advocacy Photos from top: West Virginia Division of Tourism; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Rebecca Conners—Texas Tourism; Georgia Department of Economic Development

  22. Conclusions • Trails and scenic byways • New markets: nature-based tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, agritourism • Sustainable tourism Photos from top: West Virginia Division of Tourism; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Rebecca Conners—Texas Tourism; Georgia Department of Economic Development

  23. Getting Started • Presentations • Proposals • Advise, advocate, and lobby on your behalf Photos from top: Arkansas Dept. of Parks and Tourism; Virginia Tourism Corporation; Tennessee.gov; NC Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development

  24. Contact • Dr. Rich Harrill • E-mail: rharrill@hrsm.sc.edu • Phone: (803) 777-7682 Photos from top: West Virginia Division of Tourism; South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism; Rebecca Conners—Texas Tourism; Georgia Department of Economic Development