VisitShenandoah.org - After a full 12 months transitioning from the old non-mobile site to our mobile friendly site, traffic is strong with over 204,000 visits and 773,970 page views annually. Over 80% of the traffic was “new” to the site.
The heaviest traffic is coming from the following regions:
Washington, DC & Northern VA & Baltimore (the entire region shows really strong) New York
VisitSkylineDrive.org – 283,000 visits and 726,000 page views annually. Over 80.3% of the traffic was “new” to the site.
Heaviest traffic coming from the following regions: Washington, DC
We continue to work at increasing visitation to the sites which in turn generates more referrals to member sites.
Launched New Creative & Digital Campaign
· In June 2017, SVTA launched the new four-season “Epic Experiences Ahead” experiential marketing campaign designed to cross-appeal to Millennial, Gen X, and Boomer audiences.
· Campaign ended November with over 1,591,721 impressions in web retargeting and 135,910 impressions in FB retargeting.
Launched “What’s Happening in the Valley” e-newsletter September 2017 to 1,668 website opt-ins and trade show leads. December, 2017 e-newsletter opt-ins and leads grew to 3,162 - an 89% increase in three months or 1,494 additional qualified leads.
Representing Our Members
SVTA attended the ABA (American Bus Association) marketplace in January, 2017 and was represented by John Shaffer from Luray Caverns. John has been attending ABA for more than 20 years. He met with 31 tour planners and presented an overview of each of the regions in the valley. Leads were forwarded to all members in February for additional follow-up.
SVTA participated in a 3-month VTC Tourism Blitz at Clear Brook (I-81) and Rocky Gap (-I77) Welcome Centers.
Public Relations & Social Media Marketing
2017 was a strong visibility year for the Shenandoah Valley in a number of high profile publications:
· The biggest story was a multi-page “regional compilation package” with a cover placement in Washingtonian Magazine’s October 2017 issue. 400,000 Circulation and 385,470 Unique Visitors Online.
· Shenandoah Valley was featured on Garden & Gun online in May entitled “Ride Route 11 through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley”
· The Travel Channel’s Roam Blog featured several valley attractions in May that blogger Erin Gifford visited.
· Baltimore Sun, Forbes, Endless Vacation, Bethesda Magazine, Traveler’s Today, National Geographic and Country Living featured the valley in their spring pubs or online.
· Virginia Living, Conde Nast, and Northern Virginia Magazine featured the valley in their fall editions.
Looking ahead to next year, keep an eye out for
· Southern Living will be featuring the Valley in their May, 2018 issue. 1,221,000 Circulation and 1,305,978 Unique Visitors online.
SVTA members were included in the Level A Press Kit that was distributed to hundreds of top tier visitors in advance of the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW conference in Washington DC. Several Shenandoah Valley attractions were included on IPW’s list of FAM (familiarization) tours, which are designed to introduce top tier media and tour operators with outstanding travel opportunities in the area. FAM trip visitors to the Shenandoah Valley region hailed from across the globe – from Canada (our top international-referring country), France, England, Japan, China, India, Brazil, Russia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, and Germany.)
For the second year in a row, SVTA attended the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Association (MATPRA) Media Marketplace and spoke with dozens of writers/bloggers/journalists about travel opportunities and stories in the Valley. This year’s meeting was hosted in the City of Winchester. Many thanks to the Winchester CVB for an incredible job of coordinating, entertaining, and delighting a wide range of travel writers.
In November, SVTA issued a formal press release in opposition of the proposed NPS increases at Shenandoah. The story was covered on WHSV-TV, and also in the Winchester Star and Daily News Record. SVTA also posted a resolution on the NPS website comment section.
Page likes on January 1, 2017: 2,137
Page likes on December 31, 2017: 2,695
é 26% increase YTD
Followers on January 1, 2017: 108
Followers on December 31, 2017: 424
é 292% increase YTD
Followers on January 1, 2017: 51
Followers on December 15, 2017: 541
é 960% increase YTD
New SVTA membership is up an impressive 25% over last fiscal year.
We invested over $16,000 in travel guide paid distribution resulting in over 130,000 travel guides distributed via VA Welcome Centers and Rest Areas, individual online requests, and 11 travel trade shows. In addition, many of our member businesses display the travel guide at their locations.
Transitioned from a management company (Collie Gorg) to a contract Administrator position, bringing financials and administrative responsibility in-house.
SVTA was awarded a $9,200 VTC Marketing Leverage Grant that was largely invested in digital campaigns.