As a trusted organization for promoting tourism in San Diego and California, the San Diego Tourism Authority (formally called San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau or “ConVis”) recently announced details about their three-year strategic plan. At Anderson Direct Marketing, we support many local and national businesses with their hospitality-related marketing campaigns, so I was excited to attend their presentation to find out what the SDTA would reveal.
Presenting the SDTA plan was Margie Stitton, Senior Vice President of Sales and Service, at a luncheon for the San Diego chapter of the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI). As part of the strategic plan, the most noticeable change is its new name—effective January 1, 2013—with the keywords “Tourism Authority” replacing the long and somewhat confusing phrase “Convention & Visitors Bureau.” The primary reasons for the name change were to distinguish itself from the San Diego Convention Center as well as to create a more direct and recognizable name to compete on the global tourism stage.
The presentation by Margie highlighted 4 key objectives:
1. Grow visitor demand
Key Performance Indicators include increasing visitor inquires, total hotel meetings and room nights, total citywide room nights, San Diego’s market share of hotel rooms in the western region and total visitor economic impact.
2. Maximize the San Diego brand, both domestically and internationally
Key Performance Indicators include increasing unpaid media & promotional value, maintaining advertising partner co-op investment, developing 3 strong partnership agreements (like with Balboa Park 2015) and ensuring that San Diego stays on top of industry awards lists.
3. Lead the San Diego tourism industry
Key Performance Indicators include increasing the awareness of the SDTA mission, increasing the net favorability rating of the SDTA and San Diego as a tourism destination plus improving the website and social media efforts.
4. Reinforce and support a culture of excellence within the SDTA
Key Performance Indicators include maintaining or improving employee satisfaction in all categories plus ensuring successful audits of the SDTA and TMD (Tourism Marketing District) with no material finding.
The SDTA also provided a print copy of their Strategy Clarity Overview, which is provided at this link to the PDF. The paper version provides specific KPI measurements and additional details and initiatives about each objective.
My personal key takeaways from the presentation were:
- There’s optimism by the SDTA predicting growth in all KPI’s, which is a positive indicator for hospitality-related businesses in San Diego.
- The goal to increase San Diego’s market share of hotel rooms in the western region will result in growth of the San Diego economy.
- With more visitors coming to San Diego over the next three years, casino marketing budgets should also increase for our casino & hotel clients in order to obtain more of the tourism business.
- Margie mentioned that the key weapon in marketing San Diego tourism is its people. By sharing positive local experiences on social media, visitors and travel planners have quality recommendations about the benefits of visiting San Diego.
For more information about the SDTA and its vast resources, visit the website at www.SanDiego.org.