The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has invited all businesses, organizations, and interested individuals to attend the second annual Adirondack Destination Marketing Summit at the Conference Center at Lake Placid from 8 am to 4 pm on March 14, 2017.
The daylong workshop will consist of sessions led by industry experts on various disciplines of marketing, including understanding changing customer demographics, personalizing the traveler experience, using photos and video on social media platforms, finding opportunities to collaborate, and analyzing tourism trends. » Continue Reading.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has announced its 2017 Board of Directors. ROOST elected three new, reelected five current board members, and elected officers.
The new slate was announced at ROOST’s Winter Social at Big Slide Brewery and Public House in Lake Placid, which was attended by ROOST staff, board members, businesspeople, and elected officials from throughout ROOST’s eight Adirondack regions. » Continue Reading.
The town and village of Tupper Lake have announced the launch of the new Tupper Lake brand, a unique image and message that is designed to increase awareness of the community for both tourism and economic development.
The Tupper Lake brand message and logotype treatment is the culmination of a year-long process, including a series of public meetings, surveys of residents and visitors, and a focus group of local stakeholders. » Continue Reading.
The 2016 Great Adirondack Garage Sale will be held on May 27-29 and has expanded in scope and scale with a new promotional website showcasing garage sales located on a 200-mile “trail” stretching from Malone to Speculator, and Old Forge to Newcomb.
The regional garage sale originated in 2010 when Long Lake linked up with Old Forge, Inlet and Indian Lake to promote 70 miles of garage sales. The expanded event was initiated by Hamilton County in partnership with the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism. » Continue Reading.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has invited all businesses, organizations and interested individuals to attend an Adirondack Destination Marketing Summit at the Conference Center in Lake Placid from 8 am to 5 pm on March 3.
The daylong workshop will consist of a series of sessions led by industry experts on various disciplines of marketing, including website design, content development, search engine optimization, social media, media relations and reputation management. » Continue Reading.
Visitors to the Adirondack region were drawn by outdoor recreation, were slightly younger, and more brought their kids according to the 2014 Leisure Travel Information Study commissioned by the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST).
Of those who said they visited the Adirondacks for outdoor recreation, 85% said they came for hiking. In terms of water sports, 55% said they visited for paddling, 36% for fishing and 25% for boating. Winter sports were much less of a draw with 17% visiting to ski or snowboard, 9% to cross-country ski, 8% to snowmobile, and 8% to hunt. » Continue Reading.
Nonprofits and community organizations from the Tupper Lake region are invited to participate in a training seminar on Thursday, September 17th.
The capacity-building seminar, “Building a Board that Works,” will be hosted by Adirondack Foundation, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, and the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. It will take place from 1 to 4:30 pm at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library in Tupper Lake. » Continue Reading.
The public is invited to an open house at the new Tupper Lake Information Center. The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) and the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce will host the open house. The center, which was previously home to the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce offices, has been renovated to create dual office space and visitor center.
As part of the event, ROOST CEO James McKenna will provide an update on the destination master planning process. Also in attendence will be Michelle Clement, Tupper Lake and Hamilton County marketing director for ROOST, and Adam Baldwin, events administrator for the chamber, both of whom have office space at the Information Center, as well as members of the chamber board and local politicians. » Continue Reading.
CORRECTION: The press release announcing this new website misstated who is eligible to be listed on the new website. All tourism-related businesses are listed, whether they are members of the Chamber of Commerce or not. Chamber members that are not necessarily tourism-related businesses will be added in the future in a business directory. (For example, service-related businesses that don’t fit into the leisure travel navigation categories, like a lawyer.) This story has been corrected to reflect this new information.
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) has announced the launch of the newly designed TupperLake.com.
The redesigned site is geared toward promoting visitor experiences available in the towns of Tupper Lake and Piercefield, from hiking to shopping to historic sites, and includes an events calendar. The new site design is responsive, which means that it displays properly in all screen sizes and formats from desktop to tablet, phablet, and phone. » Continue Reading.
Visitors to the region were drawn by outdoor recreation, preferred hotel accommodations to other types of lodging, and spent $93 for every occupancy tax dollar spent on marketing in 2013, according to the latest leisure travel information study.
For the eleventh year in a row, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) contracted an independent third party to conduct a Leisure Travel Information Study. For the last three years, ROOST engaged PlaceMaking to conduct the survey applying the same methodology as in the previous years when it was conducted by the Technical Assistance Center at SUNY Plattsburgh. Survey data from 2013 visitors show record visitation to Essex County from across the decade of this research. » Continue Reading.
Fact: Google employees have mandatory snack time and a fleet of color-branded bicycles to get from building to building on their headquarters campus.
For two years in a row, my coworker and I have attended the eTourism Summit – a conference that brings travel industry experts together for presentations and networking to discuss cutting-edge online marketing issues and strategies – specifically for destinations. It’s a great opportunity to learn from, and with our peers from around the world, learning from experts on all things Internet, including representatives from the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn.
This year, the conference began with a tour of Google headquarters – a rare chance (they don’t typically welcome groups) to see the work environment at the world’s largest search engine. We toured their pampered campus, and it was easy to see why their employees work 10-12-hour days. Sample of perks included in their salary: laundry service, beach volleyball courts, several fitness clubs (fully staffed with trainers), endless pools, a bowling alley, and regular visits from dignitaries like U.S. Presidents, Nobel prize winners and Lady Gaga, who was there a couple weeks before us. It is a world designed to encourage interaction, collaboration and creativity.
Our group was able to choose from any of the four gourmet, themed restaurants for lunch. We then were treated to an intimate presentation from Google’s travel team, complete with a panel of their experts for Q&A. Of course, they are privy to the ultimate Google Analytics; and took us through a few online travel research scenarios. There are tricks to influencing travelers, and as marketers, we must understand and capitalize on the search process, placing our destinations front and center at that “zero moment of truth”, when the traveler is on the cusp of making that booking decision.
As if we didn’t gain enough insight at the Google tour, we still had a couple days of information to absorb at the conference sessions. And this year, our very own VP of marketing, Carol Joannette, was chosen to be one of the esteemed presenters. As a relatively small Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) (there were many much larger in attendance, like Tourism Ireland, New Zealand and several U.S. States), it was quite an honor to be part of this mix of industry experts.
Carol was asked to present because we had recently launched our flagship destination’s brand new mobile web site: m.lakeplacid.com – and it was developed using HTML5. The panel discussion included the decision to launch a mobile site in general, implications of coding formats and mobile apps for destinations. By the end, Carol was signing autographs. (OK, she was distributing her business card- but that’s similar.)
What is a mobile site? Why develop a whole different interface for lakeplacid.com just for cell phone users?
First, mobile phones – or the kind specifically called SmartPhones (iPhone, Droid and the like) are becoming increasingly prevalent, and are dramatically changing the way that people access information.
Here are some stats: 35% of all cell phones currently in use are SmartPhones. 50.4% of new cell phones bought are SmartPhones. Of all U.S. Internet traffic, 4.5% is accessed by cell phone.
In the U.S., 8.4% of mobile cell phone browser activity is travel service (UP 42% from July 2010), and the number 1 browser activity is search at 44.6%, which underscores the need for search engine optimization in the mobile sector as well as desktop.
Why did we decide to invest in a mobile site? As an accredited DMO, everything we do is informed by research and statistics analysis. We carefully monitor analytics for all of our destination websites. And, we have seen a dramatic increase in mobile access to lakeplacid.com. A mobile phone, of course, has a smaller display area, so it is important to provide a page specifically designed for that small display, with simple navigation buttons to provide the most sought-out information with as few clicks as possible.
The new mobile site automatically loads on mobile devices that access lakeplacid.com. And as our site was designed in HTML5, the site loads consistently on any platform, whether it is an iPhone, Droid or Blackberry, etc. Alternatively, our coders (at local agency Adworkshop) would have to write code for every type of platform, and to update that code as new technology inevitably arrives in the marketplace. So the choice of HTML5 coding language represents a huge cost and time savings.
The mobile site looks a lot different than the browser interface for the desktop-accessed lakeplacid.com. There are quick links to Do, Events, Dining, Shopping, Contact, and Stay, with icons to easily call or email us with one click. And, users have easy access to all photo listings in our database.
Here’s an example: our staff has been diligently updating the hiking trails in our database, complete with descriptions and photos. When the mobile user clicks on Do, then selects Hiking, they are presented with a list of hikes and details, and can select “map this” to get directions from where they are standing directly to the trailhead.
We will continue to update the mobile sub-navigation topics based on the information for which our visitors are searching, and enhancing our database to ensure that we provide the most comprehensive content.
How’s the site traffic so far? The m.lakeplacid.com mobile site was launched on September 8, 2011. To date, mobile access currently represents about 9 percent of our overall site visits. And where are users accessing the mobile site from, geographically? The largest concentrations are in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C. Toronto, Philadelphia, Ottawa and Montreal. That’s good news – we’re providing a convenient access to our destination resources to mobile web surfers in important rubber-tire feeder markets!
The Internet is an ideal marketing mechanism – especially for the travel industry. It is imperative that we remain engaged in learning and implementing strategies to leverage the ever-changing online marketing landscape. I know that my communications priorities have completely changed over the past few years from traditional media engagement to online content development, and from what we’ve learned by “going mobile”, that’s the only strategy that will allow our destinations to compete.
Still, it might not hurt to get our own fleet of Lake Placid, Adirondacks USA bikes and fuel up on mandatory snacks.
Kimberly Rielly is the director of communications for the Lake Placid CVB/Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.