Sustainable tourism, eco tourism, geo tourism…..not all tourism marketing includes glitz or a mouse. There are many small towns with rich history and beautiful natural areas. When we started work with the Foundation for Renewal of Eastern North Carolina to promote 5 Creative Communities in Eastern North Carolina, we started with research to help them identify their brand(s) and the right target audience to promote what the towns had to offer.
A survey sponsored by National Geographic identified 55.1 million Americans as “sustainable tourists” or “Geotourists.” According to the report, “these travelers have ceaseless expectations for unique and culturally authentic travel experiences that protect and preserve the ecological and cultural environment.” The study identified Geotourist point of views as:
- Travel is best when the destination preserves its natural, historic, and cultural sites and attractions
- Travel is best when doing or seeing something authentic
- They want to learn about customs, geography, and culture of destination
- Important that his/her visit not damage the environment
- Want to have trip that provides educational experience for me/family
- Like destinations that offer a variety of cultural/arts events and attractions
- Very/extremely likely to take trips to places to experience different people, lifestyles and cultures
- Very/extremely likely to take trips that have historic or archeological buildings or sites
- Not as concerned with luxury accommodations, pampering, and fine dining
- Like to visit small towns and rural areas
- Enjoy trips to explore historic and charming towns
The “Geotourist” provides us with a research-based demographic profile:
- average age 47.6 (middle age/older parent/working couple/retired)
- slightly more women (56% women, 44% men)
- high income ($75K+)
- over half live in large cities
- well educated
- frequent travelers (5.8-7.6 trips/year)
Based on the information gathered from your community in the marketing survey, research done by vitalink, and input from Creative Communities, a customized family of logos were developed. The logos have a feel of the past with the scrollwork and stylized artistic approach to the typography and graphic of the icon (oval), both combine to appeal to our target demographic. This logo was customized to represent each community, but also to brand the overall characteristics of the Inner Banks area. The logo features an icon that is meant to represent each town and the words Inner Banks. The artfully crafted icons also won a prestigious Addy Award!
Building on the new brand logos for the towns, vitalink provided a full brand toolkit. The toolkit included tourism research, target markets, message development, style guides for the logo, a series of ad templates, public relations overview, template and instructions for press releases, pitch topics, media list, a section on public service announcements and strategic partnerships and search engine optimization (SEO) tips.
If you’d like vitalink to help build a tourism toolkit or if you need help with some elements of your tourism marketing, please call 919.850.0605 and ask for Jeanne Frazer.