Exposure at Twenty-five Top Consumer/Travel Trade Shows to Date
Registered Bus Tour Groups up 117% to Date
Syracuse, NY – In 2013, Destiny USA staff travelled the globe gaining exposure by actively marketing the property as well as extending collaborative efforts with numerous organizations including the Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance, I Love NY, Destinations of New York State, the Shop America Alliance, Brand USA and Wine, Waters & Wonders of Upstate New York in both national and international markets with the goal of drawing group and FIT (foreign independent travelers) into Syracuse/Central New York as both a new stopover on existing itineraries and a “hot’” must-experience destination in its own right.
Year-to-date, representatives of Destiny USA have traveled to 25 travel trade and consumer shows showcasing the property. Brand awareness has increased with each show/marketplace as the year has progressed. Strategic, committed involvement in the major tourism opportunities available to reach consumers directly, along with those targeting the receptive and group tour operators that create, package and sell to them, has given Destiny USA recognition as a serious player among national attractions.
Destiny USA has made a strong impression on receptive operators selling product in key international markets as well as tour operators from all over this country and Canada this year through attendance/representation at the American Bus Association’s Annual Marketplace in Charlotte, Heartland Travel Showcase in Toledo, Pennsylvania Bus Association’s Marketplace in Reading, Active America – China Summit in Philadelphia, North American Journeys’ Summit East in NYC, International Pow Wow in Las Vegas, National Tour Association’s Travel Exchange in Orlando, La Cita de las Americas in Fort Lauderdale, the Student Youth Travel Association’s Conference and Marketplace in Los Angeles and Receptive Services Association of America’s Annual Summit in Atlantic City. In November the efforts will continue at both the Ontario Motor Coach Association’s Annual Marketplace in Toronto and World Travel Market in London.
David Holder, President of the Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau said, “Destiny USA has succeeded in reshaping our region’s tourism landscape. The mix of traditional retail, outlets, entertainment and dining experiences combined with an aggressive sales and promotional approach has attracted both new interest and resulting visitation from targeted markets across the globe.”
Multi-day sales missions throughout New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and even Florida (to companies selling to the Latin American market) have elevated Destiny USA to new heights of exposure and brought the property to “top of mind” by getting the story of its transformation into a destination shopping and activity hub in front of itinerary planners.
“Response from group tour companies is already in evidence this year,” according to Marketing Director Rose Hapanowich. “Our registered group bus tour business has shown a healthy increase of 117% year-to-date over 2012 and we expect the gains to continue to grow as a result of these efforts which we intend to increase even more in 2014.”
Being represented at ITB in Berlin earlier this year through partnership with Wine, Waters & Wonders of Upstate New York paved the way for a very smooth entry into the United Kingdom market during an early summer sales mission, as there was already some recognition of both Syracuse and Destiny USA at the meetings. Building relationships with these operators while delivering a great product to their customers is instrumental in firmly establishing Destiny USA as a destination for international travelers and growing its tourist draw exponentially.
The ability to interact directly with the consumer at the AAA Vacations Expo (Ohio), Travel & Vacation Show (Ottawa), the Connecticut Women’s Expo (Hartford) and the Ottawa Women’s Show showcased a brand new travel opportunity for thousands of potential new visitors, while giving others who had already been to Destiny USA an updated reason to return for a brand new experience. This effort will continue next month at the Toronto Women’s Show.
Being present at the Empire State Tourism Conference in Niagara Falls, the ONE Travel Conference in Costa Mesa and this month’s Discover America Days in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal gave Destiny USA’s representatives the opportunity to gain media exposure, network with and learn from key people in the tourism industry and send the message of its growing strength as a national travel destination – a true contender in the marketplace, now and in the years ahead.
Based on Destiny USA’s efforts, approximately 50% of Destiny USA’s sales are coming from outside of Onondaga County.