San Luis Obispo draws tourists to its regional treasures

Published on : Friday, April 29, 2016

Visit San Luis Obispo CountyVisit San Luis Obispo County, the countywide tourism marketing organization, has announced their new marketing agency partnership with BCF Agency. The Countywide Tourism Marketing District (TMD), which was put into place in July 2015, expanded the marketing budget of Visit San Luis Obispo County, allocating an estimated $3.4M in year-one to be used towards promoting and marketing the region. BCF will be working with Visit San Luis Obispo County during year-two of the Tourism Marketing District to create an impactful marketing campaign geared to promote the region in the shoulder season, during off-peak months.

“During the first 10 months of the district, we created a impactful regional market campaign and a lot of buzz about our destination,” said Chuck Davison, President and CEO of Visit San Luis Obispo County. “We have big goals to increase awareness, demand and market share in the coming years, especially during the slower travel season. It’s important that we align our programs with the needs of our constituents, giving them necessary support focusing on the off-peak season. I am pleased to announce the Board of Directors’ unanimous decision to work with BCF Agency in the coming year.”

BCF Agency is a tourism destination marketing firm, based out of Virginia. They were chosen from 14 national agencies that submitted and pitched for the business. For the first few months of their contract with Visit San Luis Obispo County, BCF will have professionals in market, working hand-in-hand with the organization to craft a marketing strategy that will convey SLO County’s unique positioning to attract new visitors from across the country. BCF specializes in working with destinations, hotels, resorts and travel-related experiences throughout the United States.

“San Luis Obispo County holds the very best of what the authentic California travel experience has to offer,” said Keith Ireland, Agency Partner and Creative Director. “Leveraging that truth to drive overnight visitation and increase the economic impact created by tourism to the County is an exciting opportunity for the agency, and I personally couldn’t be more eager to begin the process of conceptualizing remarkable marketing for such an extraordinary destination.”

Targeting the off-peak, slower months for visiting travelers and tourist spending, Visit San Luis Obispo County and BCF will plan an integrated marketing campaign to reach new customers and encourage visitors to choose San Luis Obispo County as a preferred destination. The campaign will be the most extensive outreach effort by the countywide marketing agency, and includes advertising in key feeder markets: the Bay Area, Southern California, the Central Valley, Phoenix and Las Vegas. The campaign will continue to reach key regional markets and extend to international markets, through partnerships with Visit California and Brand USA.

In addition, the campaign will be crafted around data garnered from the Visit San Luis Obispo County consumer awareness research study, the results of which will be unveiled at the San Luis Obispo County Tourism Exchange 2016, being held on May 6 at the Fremont Theatre in San Luis Obispo. The awareness study will present an understanding of why those in key feeder markets do or do not choose San Luis Obispo County as a travel destination, which will provide vital, targeted industry research never before conducted for the region. The data will help the tourism industry better align its marketing efforts and measure the overall success of the district and programs moving forward.

“We are very excited to work with BCF,” said Davison. “Year-Two will garner higher results and increased visitation for our County with a strategy and campaign built on in-depth research and focused strategic planning.”


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