Aggressive marketing, coupled with an increased budget, is allowing the City of Prescott Tourism Office to invest even more in tourism promotion for the coming year.
John Heiney, Community Outreach Manager for the City of Prescott, said information shared at the “Tourism Team Up” seminar hosted by the Smoki Museum in July, pointed out that Prescott is becoming a desired location.
Data shared by Ryan Edmiston, Associate Market Manager for Expedia Group Lodging Partner Services, demonstrated that inquiries directed to Expedia proved that Prescott and Prescott Valley were targets for many consumer inquiries.
“It is obvious that this area is growing in visibility and popularity worldwide,” she said.
Expedia gets about 150-million site inquiries a month. It is surprising how many are about Prescott and Central Arizona, she said. Expedia shares information worldwide about Arizona and the Southwest, “We cover all forms of travel and tourism — land, air and sea,” she said.
She noted that travel from Canada to Arizona was down this past year, notably because of the currency exchange rate; Canadians are finding it more expensive to travel to the United States.
Ann Steward, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for the Prescott Tourism Office, used a PowerPoint presentation to describe how that office serves as a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO).
She explained, “We try to promote the entire area as an attractive travel destination. All our hospitality partners throughout the area need to know that we are an official point of contact for travel planners, operators and visitors. We solicit media and travel trade professionals and travel and meeting planners to bring leisure events, conventions, sports events and group tours to the greater community.”
Steward urged anyone in the hospitality or entertainment industries in the region to contact her and the DMO to develop cooperative promotional campaigns.
“We want what we do to be representative of the entire area,” she said.
Steward described the “rural co-op” program that Prescott has in conjunction with the Arizona Office of Tourism. Steward said Prescott invested $50,000 and that was matched dollar-for-dollar for the Fiscal Year 2020 marketing campaign. She said the magnified campaign will use major media such as TripAdvisor, AAA Magazine, WestJet Magazine, Madden digital media, AS Big Media and The New York Times Travel Show to promote tourism to the Prescott area.
Primary target audiences include the following, in priority order:
- Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun
- Denver and Los Angeles because of nonstop flights operated out of Prescott Regional Airport
- Chicago and the Lake Michigan area
- Germany and Western Europe
- Australia and the South Pacific
Heiney amplified Steward’s comments: “Our programs are covered through bed-tax dollars. This past season, those bed-tax dollars reached about $1.3 million for the fiscal year. The entire region benefits when room occupancy in our hotels and motels is about 80 to 90% during the busy season. More people have jobs in the hospitality industry. Restaurants, cafes, bars, boutique shops, museums, gas stations and other businesses have more people coming through the doors.”
Heiney and Steward asked that anyone or any organization that wanted to share information about events or activities contact the City of Prescott Tourism Office. It can be reached at 928-777-1259 or by messaging Ann.Steward@Prescott-az.gov.
More information is available at prescott-az.gov under the subhead “Recreation and Events.”