The West’s Best
PCMACONVENE.ORG MARCH 2017 PCMA CONVENE 109
What do Route 66, dune-buggy rides, fashion
brands, and Instagram-celebrity dogs have
in common? Each is a key element in a desti-nation-marketing campaign that earned four
DMOs achievement awards in the Destination Marketing Association of the West’s (DMA
West) most recent annual Best Idea Program.
The annual competition showcases
innovative projects and creative marketing
strategies submitted by DMA West members,
which are then judged by a DMA West Board–
appointed task force. The latest awards were
presented during the 2016 DMA West Education Summit, Sept. 21; 23, in Mesa, Arizona.
Each campaign targets a di;erent audience, but they share a similar strategy: Capitalize on what distinguishes your destination
from others. As more travelers — delegates
and vacationers alike — seek out experiences
that are unique to each place they visit, that’s
a winning approach.
Here (drum roll, please) are the awardees:
Flagsta; Convention & Visitors Bureau’s
66 Kicks on Route 66 campaign celebrated
the 90th anniversary of America’s beloved
road, which runs through Flagsta;f and
serves as the town’s major corridor. Sixty-six
partners o;ered visitors “kicks” on or near
Route 66, including such experiences as rent-
ing a Harley and touring the historic “Mother
Road,” and eating and drinking at restaurants
along this famous stretch of highway.
Travel Lane County’s GO Campaign was
designed to inspire visits to Eugene, Cascades & Coast region from nearby markets,
particularly Portland, Oregon’s largest population center. Travel Lane County focused on
four outdoor activities that are compelling
enough to attract people to travel 160-plus
miles from Portland for an overnight stay:
dune-buggy rides on the Oregon Coast,
cycling in the Mountain Bike Capital of the
Northwest, hiking pristine trails to breathtaking waterfalls, and riding the popular Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway.
Santa Monica Travel & Tourism partnered
with Witchery — one of Australia’s leading
fashion labels, lifestyle brands, and retailers —
to promote the destination to Australian and
New Zealand consumers as the ultimate place
to escape. The Land Down Under is one of San-
ta Monica’s top international feeder markets,
and the campaign’s key messaging positioned
Santa Monica as the beachfront of L.A. and the
ideal base for a vacation to the City of Angels.
Ventura Visitors & Convention Bureau’s
Celebrity Dogs of Instagram Familiarization
Trip project hosted six dogs that have achieved
Instagram-celebrity status — 300,000 followers combined — on a fam trip. The four-legged
celebs enjoyed lunch from The Parlor’s special
pawlor doggie menu, followed up with an ice-cream stop, a ride on Ventura’s Downtown Harbor Trolley, a stroll along Main Street, a romp
on the beach, and topped o; with cocktail
hour at a local steak and seafood restaurant.
The group’s posts, praising Ventura as the ultimate dog-friendly destination, earned more
than 40,000 likes on Instagram, and exposed
the destination to thousands of new followers.
We’d call that a doggone success.