This month: strategies for marketing your town’s tourism offerings.
Partnering for Impact
Billboard, print and television advertising can help bring in tourists.
The Comptroller’s office empowers local governments and communities across the state with the information and tools they need to support economic development and create new jobs for Texans. Look for our special “Partnering for Impact” section in each edition, featuring timely, important information and tips for local governments and economic development corporations.
Steps for Success
David Teel, with the Texas Travel Industry Association, recommends the following resources for communities to promote their tourism offerings:
- Find resources and tips in the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division’s “Developing Tourism in Your Community” at www.travel.state.tx.us/development.aspx.
- Contact the Texas Department of Transportation to distribute brochures on your area’s tourism offerings at one of the state’s 12 Texas Travel Information Centers, www.dot.state.tx.us/travel/information_centers.htm.
High gasoline prices have some Texans scaling back this year’s vacation plans in favor of staying closer to home. Weekend or day trips to nearby amusement parks, state parks or other less costly areas will be more common. Communities are examining their tourism marketing budgets to assure that they get their fair share of these expenditures.
Three cost-effective ways communities can market themselves are highway billboards, print advertisements and cable television ads.
Highway billboard advertising is affordable and effective. Prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, depending mainly on the number of vehicles that pass the sign each day. Print advertising allows you to narrowly target your audience based upon factors such as common interests or location. Examples include Texas Monthly magazine, which targets an upscale audience; Texas Highways, which focuses on travelers; and local newspapers, which let advertisers target single communities. Print advertisers can often get preferential rates for Web site advertising.
Cable television advertising is relatively inexpensive and targets an audience based on trade area, interests and time of day. A television ad can be produced for as little as $1,000.
For more information on incorporating tourism marketing strategies into your economic development plans, visit the Comptroller’s Local Government Assistance and Economic Development Division at www.TexasAhead.org. TR
- Inexpensive, encourages impulse tourism, and advertisement is displayed 24 hours per day. The Texas Department of Agriculture’s (TDA) GO TEXAN Rural Community Hometown STARS program is a matching fund program that reimburses up to $10,000 to certified GO TEXAN Rural Community members for the purchase of any combination of the following promotional materials and activities: billboards, print materials, direct mail promotions, signage, Web site construction or enhancement, Internet/print/radio/television advertising or any other activity approved by TDA to promote a specific event. For more information, visit www.gotexan.org.
- Print Publications
- Allows for targeting audience based upon interests and geographic location, preferential rates for advertising on publications’ Web sites and flexible pricing based upon budget.
- Cable Television
- Allows for narrowly targeting audience based upon factors such as interests, trade area and time of day. Affordable rates and short time frame from production to reaching audience. TDA’s GO TEXAN Rural Community Bootstrap Bucks program offers reimbursements of up to $2,500 to certified members for the purchase of broadcast spots (television/radio), newspaper advertising, posters or banners to promote a specific event. For more information, visit www.gotexan.org.