The Opportunity:

The San Diego Tourism Marketing District (SDTMD) is a private, non-profit corporation in San Diego that collects an assessment on every room night sold at its member hotels to fund tourism promotion. In FY19, it made $43.6 million in tourism marketing investments that generated $844 million in hotel room revenue for its members and another $86 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) for the City.

The SDTMD hit a high-water mark in FY20 with $47.9 million in approved grants. With so much investment on the line and persistent confusion about SDTMD’s role and the vital tax revenue that tourism provides San Diego, SDTMD asked our team to develop a “tourism matters” public education and outreach program

The Solution:

We created the brand tagline “Tourism Matters San Diego” and developed a strategy across earned, owned, shared and paid platforms to:

  • Humanize tourism by sharing how it affects real lives
  • Show how tourism works through visual storytelling
  • Show ‘what’s in it for me’ to each stakeholder group
  • Feature tourism employees to attract co-worker and industry interest

Highlights included:

  • TourismMattersSD.org website 
  • Explainer video 
  • Bilingual handout
  • Posters for back of house in hotels
  • Social media content and paid promotion
  • Leadership meetings with elected officials and chiefs of staff

The Results:

The campaign debuted in August 2019 and ran until COVID-19 disrupted all City tourism efforts, achieving:

  • 115,000+ social media impressions
  • 7,250 online video plays
  • 2,300+ social media click throughs
  • 750 industry stakeholders viewed video during live events
  • 1,000 branded cell phone wallets distributed to stakeholders
  • 200 posters distributed to area hotels
  • 125% more engagements per LinkedIn post
  • 110% more LinkedIn followers
  • 114% more LinkedIn clicks
  • 100%+ Twitter impressions growth
  • Media coverage of Tourism Matters stories and messaging