The Chamber’s tourism arm, Visit North Central Massachusetts, focused its marketing efforts last quarter on promoting the region as a Winter destination, with a heavy emphasis on utilizing digital strategies. We invested in an assorted mix of strong content on VisitNorthCentral.com highlighting winter activities and businesses. This included developing a new Winter landing page and blog articles such as “A Winter Getaway Might be Closer than you Think” and “Snow on the Mountain”. We also conducted several sponsored content campaigns targeted to the drive market. During the Winter season we also invested in some paid social media; targeted and geofenced digital advertising; YouTube advertising; and some limited print advertising. Our Facebook page garnered 221,443 impressions, reach of 78,845 and 8,004 engagements since the start of the Winter season. “Find Your…” was utilized as the overarching theme for our advertising campaigns during the season. The campaigns centered around the wide range of activities, lodging, restaurants, breweries and cultural attractions in North Central Massachusetts. Our winter activities were promoted as “Find Your Thrill” through geofenced digital ads on MassLive and LocalIQ affiliate websites and targeted YouTube advertising. The MassLive display ads garnered 251,401 impressions and 216 clicks thus far. The LocalIQ digital ads garnered 57,235 impressions and 72 clicks thus far. The targeted YouTube advertising campaign resulted in 98 clicks, 40,872 interactions and a 47.28% view rate. We also worked with MassLive and Telegram & Gazette to promote the region as a winter getaway destination through “Find Your Slice of Simplicity” branded content. The content focused on the unique lodging options, restaurants, museums and relaxing winter activities in the region. The MassLive content resulted in 39,701 impressions, click through rate of 0.61% and 244 clicks. The Telegram & Gazette content garnered 9,894 reads, a 20.06% click through rate, and 1,985 clicks. The sponsored social media post resulted in 6,247 link clicks, over 400 reactions, and nearly 150 shares. For print media, we advertised in AAA magazine in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York as well as Baystate Parent monthly issues through “Find Your Winter Wonderland”. These advertisements were targeted towards families with young kids centered around the family-friendly experience our region provides. We also partnered with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the Massachusetts Ski Association and five other regional tourism councils on a collective winter campaign with Hearst media highlighting the state as a ski and winter destination. And, during the season we implemented some shop local marketing to promote supporting local businesses. Preliminary data from Arrivalist indicates a 14% increase in visitors traveling to the region over the same period the prior year, but down 27% over pre-pandemic 2019. Top four origin markets were Boston; Rhode Island; Connecticut; and New York.
As we move in to the Spring, we will continue our past strategies of promoting the outdoor assets of our region as well highlighting local attractions and businesses. We will do so through pivoting to a more digital focused marketing mix with geofenced and targeted digital ads, connected-app streaming ads, targeted YouTube advertising, paid Pinterest ads, branded content, social media and print media. We are also planning to resume some sale development activities, including participating in some travel industry trade shows in the Spring to promote the region.