“In tough economic times we have to continue to look at ways to be more effective in our marketing as a region in order to compete effectively for a traveling public that is reducing their travel trips and spending,” said Dick Depagter, a board member of Marketing Telluride Inc. and Regional Strategic Marketing Committee member.
“We’re competing for visitors against larger resort regions and towns with greater resources, so improving our communication, coordination of marketing efforts and getting greater cost efficiencies by pursuing some ad buys together is critical for us to be effective against these larger competitors,” said RSMC member Dave Riley, CEO of Telluride Ski Resort.
The group has held two meetings to date and has already learned a great deal about each other’s organizations impact on regional tourism. “Organizations can sometimes get stuck on their own individual agendas and are not fully aware of what is happening with other complementary groups,” says Jenni Sopsic, executive director of the Montrose Visitors Bureau. With a more complete awareness of how our organization can complement and build on efforts of other organizations and vice-versa, the combined and coordinated efforts can create an “all boats rise” scenario that improves the results for all involved organizations and their communities.
“Often, we can get focused locally when in our region we really have interconnected and interdependent communities that need to have key tourism organizations from throughout the region working together,” stated TMRAO board member Rick Houston TMRAO board member. “The Regional Strategic Marketing Committee is a first step towards stimulating a better regional coordination on tourism issues.”
Among the first issues of focus for RSMC is the assistance in the development of the winter 2009-2010 TMRAO marketing plan. “As an organization, TMRAO is required to support and enhance air service development,” states Scott Stewart, Executive Director of TMRAO. “Due to this mission, present level of air service and recent changes in the economy and airline industry, TMRAO realized we need to do more marketing to sustain passenger levels on our flights. Since we are not an expert in marketing, we are involving other key regional tourism organizations in our marketing planning in order to take advantage of their expertise.
“TMRAO recognized that working with the organizations that do the bulk of the winter marketing, (Telski, MTI and Montrose Visitors Bureau) was critical to integrating with their plans and to build upon these efforts, as well as leverage the funds they have to get the most ad coverage for dollars spent,” states Scott McQuade CEO of Marketing Telluride Inc. “The key is integration and combined complimentary strategies,” states Matt Skinner, executive director for Sales and Marketing at Telluride Ski Resort. The Regional Strategic Marketing Committee not only assists in the creation of TMRAO’s winter advertising plan, but helps build a year-round regional marketing effort where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts from the individual entities.”
The Regional Strategic Marketing Committee has met twice in the last month and plans regular meetings going forward. Future meetings will be made open to the public and will be advertised in the local papers. Committee members will be available for suggestions and comments from other tourism entities in the region and the general public at any time. Outreach at strategic points in the planning process will also occur with key businesses like lodging providers and other tourism entities. “Our plan is to keep the committee itself at a size where we can be efficient and effective but to provide means for involvement to other regional tourism entities,” said Montrose Assistant City Manager Scott Sellers.