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Independent study determines State’s tourism branding is working

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DOVER —  Delaware’s tourism branding and messaging is working successfully at positively influencing the view potential visitors have of the state, according to a new, independently-produced report.

FutureBrand, an international brand consulting firm, just released the results of a study it conducted examining domestic traveler impressions of US states, districts and territories and how effective the each destination’s current tourism marketing campaign is at changing those impressions.

The study concluded “Delaware’s messaging is very successful.” FutureBrand’s research showed more than half of respondents were more interested in visiting Delaware after seeing the state’s tourism logo, tourism website, official travel guide, etc.

“The small state of Delaware makes a big impact on domestic tourists, according to our research,” said Chris Nurko, global chairman of FutureBrand. “Of those surveyed, 52 percent were more interested in visiting Delaware after seeing the state’s marketing – a score that outranks almost every other state in the study.” (Only Idaho went up more – 53 percent.)

FutureBrand said Delaware’s focus on beach/water imagery was “clearly the right move,” and the branding increased potential travelers’ association of the state with “key drivers of visitation: the beach, adventure and outdoor activity.”

Linda Parkowski, Delaware Tourism director, said she learned about the third-party study in August after the surveying had been completed and the results had been calculated.

“It is extremely gratifying to have an outside company confirm the significant positive response the state tourism office has been getting from the ‘Endless Discoveries’ campaign,” Parkowski said. “Since that campaign launched in early 2015, we’ve seen tremendous growth in our numbers. Now, we have independently verified proof that ‘Endless Discoveries’ resonates with possible visitors.”

Visit Delaware created “Endless Discoveries” as a part of the state’s first ever comprehensive tourism branding effort. The new slogan, wave-inspired logo and other brand elements were the result of extensive work done to find messaging that would connect with tourists who might come to Delaware.

“We aimed to spark traveler’s curiosity and lead them on a journey of discovery,” said Parkowski. “The branding is now visible all over the state and region. It connects with people on a personal level and shows them Delaware is a great place to make travel memories that will last a lifetime.”

Broadcast, print and online advertising have increased awareness of Delaware as a desirable vacation destination, according to Delaware tourism officials. The marketing has focused on Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The ads reached 18 million people in 2015. During the time while television commercials were on the air, organic traffic to VisitDelaware.com increased 404 percent from Washington, 202 percent from Philadelphia and 100 percent from Baltimore.

Delaware began putting a strategic emphasis on tourism in 2008, and since then it has grown into a $3-billion- a -year industry, which brings in eight million annual visitors and generates $470 million in taxes and fees for state and local government.




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