Visit Mesa’s destination marketing efforts won national recognition at this month’s ESTO Conference, the annual U.S. Travel Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO). Each year, state tourism organizations and DMOs from across the country gather for this leading professional development conference. As part of the conference, U.S. Travel presents the Mercury (state tourism) and Destiny (Destination tourism) awards. Visit Mesa won the 2017 Destiny Award in the category of Digital Campaign, calling out last fiscal year’s 360-degree video effort that featured Mesa’s adventure, foodie and family lifestyles.
“This changes the game,” said Kimberly Freer, Visit Mesa senior vice president of sales and marketing. “Earning praise from this esteemed organization tells us people are taking notice of what we are doing and that we are effectively delivering on the brand promise of our destination. It means so much to have Visit Mesa be recognized at this national level.”
The Destinations Council Destiny Award program recognizes U.S. Travel destination members for excellence and creative accomplishment in destination marketing and promotion; and foster the development of imaginative and innovative destination marketing promotion programs and activities.
This national award comes just a month after Visit Mesa won “The Grand Pitch” prize, a statewide competition sponsored by the Arizona Office of Tourism and promoted at the Arizona Governor’s Conference on Tourism in July. Visit Mesa won the contest in the Urban Destinations and Attractions category with its entry on Limitless Geo-Tagging. The idea was born out of a hashtag element being incorporated into the new Adventure Explorer Guide, inviting in-bound consumers exploring Mesa to tag their location with a special branded hashtag that will be promoted through social media channels by Visit Mesa.
The recent Mesa Visitor Profile identified that more than 70 percent of overnight visitors used social media for travel, with 34 percent posting travel photos and video online. The Grand Pitch campaign earned Visit Mesa a collection of media buys in national outlets including digital placements with National Geographic magazine, Outside magazine, Matador Network, Pandora Radio, TripAdvisor, TravelZoo as well as donated service hours from Off Madison Avenue, the state tourism office’s advertising agency. The total media buy will add $117,000 worth of national marketing spend for Visit Mesa in the new fiscal year.