Talking Tourism

Scottsdale’s Tourism Industry Poised for Modest Gain

By Rachel Sacco, Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

While Scottsdale is likely a few years away from approaching its record-high hotel occupancy in 2006 and hotel rates in 2008, stronger leisure business combined with gradual meetings growth should allow Scottsdale’s tourism industry to post a modest revenue gain in 2013-2014.

Throughout the past year, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau launched marketing and sales initiatives that are attracting customers to the destination and into local businesses. We partnered with our golf community to introduce Scottsdale as the “world’s finest golf destination” with Golf Channel personality Brandel Chamblee, began a multiyear holiday campaign to help fill room nights, and expanded advertising efforts in our top feeder markets, including wrapping New York’s subways to encourage potential visitors to step into Scottsdale.

We also entered into new relationships to increase our connections to meeting planners in Canada and media in New York and Los Angeles. In addition, we focused many of our sales efforts to impact need periods and grow new business.

Using the momentum created this past year, the bureau is eager to build upon our successes to ensure a strong return on investment in the coming year. We will focus on a few key areas to drive new visitation and meetings groups to Scottsdale.

•    New research will help the bureau determine how best to reach our customers and attract the right business to Scottsdale.

•    Seasonal marketing campaigns will push messaging around key time periods to strengthen destination awareness and exposure in our primary feeder markets—New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as throughout Canada.

•    A new TV commercial and HD video footage will showcase Scottsdale’s Sonoran Desert setting and the layered experiences that visitors can enjoy.

•    Niche trade shows and client events will reach new meeting planners, travel agents, tour operators and media to familiarize them with Scottsdale and keep the destination top of mind.

•    Additional familiarization tours and site inspections will expose more clients to Scottsdale for a firsthand experience of the destination.

With these new marketing and sales initiatives, we hope to continue our history of providing a strong return on investment to the community. This past year, the bureau generated $30 for Scottsdale for every $1 invested in the organization.

Rachel Sacco is the president and CEO of the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is responsible for marketing the Scottsdale area as a premier travel and meetings destination to national and international leisure visitors, travel agents, tour operators and meeting planners.