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Loving the Adirondacks this Summer?

April 8th, 2008 · 7 Comments · Destination Marketing

The AdirondacksThe answer is YES if the State of New York succeeds in its re-branding concept.

Been hearing bits and pieces of what is planned; here’s what I know so far:


New York’s tourism marketing for this summer season will focus on three elements:

  1. GO (rail/rental car links)
  2. STAY (lodging offer)
  3. PLAY (highlighting outdoor recreation and NYS Parks)

OK, I’ve always been a big proponent of identifying and reducing barriers to travel (or purchase) as a means of turning demand into a conversion. While we can’t put money into people’s pockets, a DMO certainly can help in reducing barriers. Chiefly, this is simply a matter of providing relevant information. My official term for this is DSL – Destination Specific Linkbait (I’m sure someone will be creating a Wikipedia page for this soon). This three-prong approach is simplistic, but it does address some core human needs (see:Maslow) that must be solved in any travel plan. Let’s take a look at how this will be promoted.

Advertising Mediums

Print ads in newspapers and “Online” in three geographic markets – NYC, Ontario (Toronto), and NJ/PA/OH. Call me when I wake up from my nap…… Huh? Oh, yeah, the marketing.

Pretty vanilla stuff. I think there are still people reading newspapers in the two cities and I like the NYC market. Heck, maybe some visitor’s to the city might even get a “complimentary” newspaper and see the ad. That’s kind of like an international marketing bonus. Plus, it helps keep those newspapers in business. Truly, tourism does contribute to economic development. All stakeholders form a circle and rejoice.

We kind of like a little more Quebec focus, but “the research” didn’t justify it.

Online? I think this means Google AdWords. Not that I’m suggesting buying visibility, but if you do use this advertising tool, check your keywords for any potential bidding war with The State.

Stay Two, Get Third Night Free

I feel like I have narcoleptic. Zzzzzzzz. How many times have we see this travel promotion meme? Anyway, that’s the lodging bait. Whether such an offer will increase revenue through Length-of-Stay manipulation remains to be seen. Will the “deals” be sufficient to provide a clear marginal benefit to potential travelers? Participating lodging partners will be listed on the promotion’s microsite. I don’t like microsites very much. Look for a Gmap interface and regional groupings of the properties. There’s more.

Eligibility Requirements include the following:

  • Offer free night for a “stay 2 nights get the 3rd night free” promotion mid-week, weekend or both.
  • Report back to I LOVE NEW YORK booking information on a weekly basis.
  • Offer transient tourist accommodations open to all travelers on a nightly basis (without need for affiliation with any group).
  • Have a permit to collect New York State sales tax and any local or county lodging taxes.
  • Meet all zoning, fire safety and other requirements provided for under local, county and/or state ordinances for transient tourist accommodations where property is located.

Well, that will weed out a few participants. Plus anyone who only wants two overnights. Or 1, 4, 5, and 7. I guess it doesn’t hurt anyone to participate, but surely this will be narrow in both supply and audience.

Reports on the very similar winter promotion include, “hundreds of views and clickthroughs” and “5% sales boost.” Heh, I’d be the first to set a low benchmark for myself too, if I’m the one setting benchmarks.

Summer Promotion Solicitation – I Love NY 2008 (PDF)

Transportation and Activities

I like the idea of highlighting rail and rental services. If we could open up access to all those NYC residents without cars, then a whole new audience is available to us. Haven’t seen much since last year, but the Zipcar/I Love NY partnership is intriguing. Interesting business model there, price point in the city seems kind of high. Big weakness – closest location with cars is Middlebury, Vermont. Having cars available in Albany or Burlington, VT would make an air link plus car much more feasible. As it is, Amtrack to the Rennselaer Station then rental car to the Adirondacks is most realistic.

No word on how activities, parks, and such will be included. Possibly, there will be a geographic search near the participating properties.

On a scale of 10, this program is an unexciting 5. Safe, trackable, and easy to comprehend. I don’t think anyone is going to have to worry about any embarrassing Lovemarks, if you know what I mean.

I leave you with this now disturbing photo of “Zipper Spitzer” stroking a Zipcar. That grin is scary.

Eliot Spitzer Stroking Zipcar

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7 Comments so far ↓

  • City Mouse

    Great ideas for transport!

    I am actually part of the market you’re discussing – as are other friends. That is, “rail and rental services.” (You forgot the bus though – Adirondack Trailways is really a pretty civilized ride.) Though as you mention, no connection to rentals on the Adk end.

    Price point in the city for ZipCar (and any other rental car for that matter) is VERY high. We circumvent it this way – We take the train to Stamford, CT and rent there, saving about $200 on a week’s rental over the city. (Even by taking the train to Newark Airport and renting from there, we save quite a bit over NYC rates.)

    Of course, my NY State honchos would probably be disappointed in the fact that both of these plans require spending my money outside NY state to I rent a car.

  • TourPro

    I left out bus service, but that is actually the most efficient if you have the time. I recommend it all the time to people in the city. You can go from Brooklyn right to Lake Placid, the driver could even drop you at a trailhead if you asked nice.

    The car rental is OK if you’re planning on using it the whole time, but leaving it at a trailhead for more than a day seems like a loser. I’d love to get a simple and cheap way for folks to come up and recreate. After all, The Park was created for that very purpose.

    Those city rates for Zipcar do seem a bit high. But, I seem to recall paying $20 bucks for a Pastrami sandwich, so I guess it’s all relative. Plus, since they charge for mileage, the drive up here is a killer. Way better off with a traditional rental with unlimited miles. I did a scan of Albany rental rates and a 3-day totaled less than $90.

    Better yet, rail from NYC with bikes, get off anywhere north of Lake George and ride. Epic biking up here “in season”. Eco-friendly and much cheaper.

  • Mrs. Mecomber

    If only NY would just dump the bed tax and all the other suffocating taxes, fees, and surcharges… I’d like that more than a “free night.”

  • TourPro

    You get what you pay for?


    I’m going to go admire my tax return again.

  • lisa

    doug, you’ve had some awesome content lately.

    i’ve left my note at this post, really good stuff.
    talk soon!

  • TourPro

    Hi Lisa.

    Who’s “doug“? 😯

  • Alexavier

    Surpelby illuminating data here, thanks!

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