We continued to utilize a diverse mix of digital and print advertising in target markets to promote the region, including geo-targeted digital ads, a paid YouTube advertising campaign and print advertisements in Bay State Parent. During the winter season we also partnered with the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, Massachusetts Ski Resort Association, and the Berkshires and Franklin County Convention and Visitors Bureaus on a special #SkiMass campaign to promote the state to skiers and snowboarders. The campaign included a mix of paid digital media on Facebook and Instagram in the target markets of Greater Boston, New Hampshire, New York and Connecticut.
Our Facebook following has grown 5.8% over the winter season and a whopping 290% compared to the same period last year! This is primarily due to our rebranding and our strategy of utilizing a combination of Facebook ads, compelling content and video. Our Instagram following grew by 6% and our Twitter grew by 11% during the Winter season. We also released a new tourism video on our social media channels highlighting the dynamic region. A special thank you to Wilspro Entertainment and music artist Joshua Radin for his song “Going With You” which is featured in the new video.
Our tourism website – VisitNorthCentral.com – saw a 192% increase in traffic over the same period last year. Primary origins for the majority of visitors included the New England states and Canada. Winter themed blog articles on the website included “Take The Ski Train,” “Sleigh Bells Ring,” and “Feathered Fun.”
Hotel occupancy was up 3% in the region compared to the month of January last year. The state saw a 4.3% increase compared to January of last year. Revenue per available room (RevPar) for January 2020 was up 5.5% for the region compared to January 2019 and the state was up 4.5% compared to January 2019. All data is from the most recent STR report (occupancy data for February has not been released as of printing).
Visit North Central Massachusetts was also busy promoting the region at trade shows. We showcased the region at the Great Bridal Expo held in Boston, promoting our beautiful wedding venues to future brides and grooms from throughout New England. Plans are currently underway to participate in the Dreams and Destinations Travel Show in Springfield, MA in May. We will be showcasing our region for the first time at this trade show that targets visitors from Western Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. We will also be participating in the Discover New England Industry Show taking place in Maine.
The Spring/Summer 2020 Guide to North Central Massachusetts is now available. Due to higher demand, we have increased our printing by 15% and expanded distribution in Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, the South Shore, Boston and even Canada (our region’s biggest international market). The Guide to North Central Massachusetts can now also be found across all terminals inside Boston’s Logan Airport.
We are currently seeking partners for upcoming co-op opportunities in the Spring and Summer. Please contact David Ginisi, Marketing and Communications Manager, if you are interested and would like additional information.