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Tourism Marketing Takes New Direction

Destination Gettysburg has a new focus: Coming off the heels of what will go down in history as one of Gettysburg’s largest events, the organization that markets the destination to visitors is embarking on a new adventure—one further showcasing experiences beyond the town’s Civil War heritage.

Destination Gettysburg (formerly the Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau) recently announced a new approach to marketing one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most popular travel destinations, and unveiled a strategic plan, new tagline, and new logo.

“The history and heritage of Gettysburg will always be the destination’s legacy,” said Norris Flowers, Destination Gettysburg president. “We aren’t ignoring that as a key attraction for visitors to travel here, but we are placing a greater emphasis on experiences that take these visitors into unchartered areas of the town and the county.”

These new experiences will inevitably extend visitors’ stays by offering a wider array of opportunities for families, couples, and individuals, Flowers said, adding that this will provide a greater impact on the local economy through the county’s top industry—tourism. “What our research concluded was that visitors often find out about these other experiences during their trip, much too late to extend the length of their vacation. Our marketing will shift in order to better highlight these other experiences to allow visitors to incorporate them during the planning stages of their trip.”

These experiences include the county’s wineries, orchards, health and relaxation, antiquing, outdoor recreation, great restaurants, and family-friendly attractions.

To grow Adams County’s tourism base, a new strategy that was developed will focus on a younger demographic of twenty-five- to forty-five-year-olds, with an emphasis on families. Destination Gettysburg will reach them using a monthly thematic roadmap. An integrated plan will deliver these themes through itinerary-based ideas using digital, print, and broadcast advertising; owned media such as its website and annual visitor guide; and social media channels. This concept will also be used to market to groups, meetings, and international visitors. A five-year plan will serve as the roadmap and be evaluated annually for accomplishments and necessary changes.

“If you’ve been to Gettysburg before, then you know that there are a variety of things to do in our region,” said Stacey Fox, Destination Gettysburg vice president of sales and marketing. “This shift in marketing will highlight these experiences in an effort to appeal to a broader visitor base.”

Destination Gettysburg will incorporate a new tagline—“… and you thought we were just history”—as a way to emphasize its strategy to focus on those experiences beyond the Civil War. The new logo incorporates Destination Gettysburg’s new name with vibrant colors and seasonal aspects to showcase the area’s natural beauty and agriculture industry, and to highlight Gettysburg and Adams County as a year-round destination.

“Our goal with our new strategy and marketing is to target a younger audience to off-set the aging of our current market,” Fox said. “We will continue to interact with our current visitors as we shift our focus to our new core audience. We are also looking to extend the length of stay and grow our overall visitation.”

Photo Courtesy of: Destination Gettysburg and captured by Paul Witt

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