As temperatures in the Valley rise, tourism in the city of Scottsdale plummets. In an effort to reverse that pattern, Experience Scottsdale is taking on summertime with a whole new approach – embracing its destination for what it is: hot!
In 2003, Experience Scottsdale launched a research program called Visitor Industry Customer Analysis (VICA), which collects visitor data from 14 different properties and ultimately determines Scottsdale’s top-producing markets throughout the seasons of each fiscal year. Rachel Sacco, CEO of Experience Scottsdale, said summer is their biggest need time ever and tools like VICA help in targeting potential customers. “Thanks to our Visitor Industry Customer Analysis, we know exactly who likes to travel here during the summer,” she said.
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According to VICA, outside markets in the summer decline, making Phoenix Scottsdale’s strongest market for summer business. However, because customers from outside markets like L.A., New York and Chicago spend more per visit than those from Phoenix, it takes a greater volume of Phoenicians to reach the same revenue that would have been generated from outside markets.
To attract more of those outside markets, Experience Scottsdale is kicking off a summer campaign, and it starts with promoting Scottsdale’s heat. “There’s a lot to be said when you just tell the truth about who you are as a person or even a destination. So we’re just leading with the fact that we live in the desert and yes, it is hot,” Sacco said.
The company created the hashtag #ItsThatHot for ads, commercials and social media. “We’re actually in the L.A. market advertising in Lyft cars and Uber cars. We also have some digital billboards around L.A.,” Sacco said.
The hashtag will also appear on three Instagram murals Experience Scottsdale is designing in downtown Scottsdale, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Scottsdale Quarter. Sacco said Instagram murals often attract tourists who are willing to travel “far and wide” just to capture a photo of them. “We’re hoping that we will also have a lot of people that are coming and taking a photograph of themselves, Instagramming it and getting a lot of viral information out there about just how hot Scottsdale is,” she said.
Another element of the summer campaign targets meeting planners. Through Experience Scottsdale’s Summer Meetings Rebate Program, planners who hold a meeting of a certain size between Memorial Day and September 15 are eligible for a rebate on their master bill. Sacco said the program is an incentive, especially for first-timers. “‘Oh, it was fantastic meeting there.’ And then hopefully that’ll be something that will stay in their rotation for years to come,” she said.