Are Delaware’s ‘Endless Discoveries’ a magnet for summer vacationers? (video)

 (Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

(Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

If you’re still trying to figure out vacation plans this summer, Delaware officials say look no further because there is plenty to discover in the First State.

According to Sussex County rental agencies, the catchy marketing campaign “Endless Discoveries” may be paying off for the state that introduced itself as a place with just that in January. Karen Falk of Jack Lingo Realty applauded the Delaware Tourism Office, which is behind the new branding.

“We knew about the endless discoveries campaign and we saw the commercial, we even posted it on our own social media, so I think they did a good job,” Falk said.

One commerical highlighting Delaware’s attractions targets mostly women. Why? According to tourism officials, traditionally women take the lead in deciding on a vacation destination. That targeted audience may be the reason Coldwell Banker realtors are seeing beach rentals fill up fast this year.

“We’re doing very well, the last two weeks of July, first two weeks of August are your typical busiest weeks. We’re pretty well booked on those so we are just kind of looking to fill the shoulder weeks on each side of that now. But doing very well, it’s a good season,” said Tricia Sulecki of Coldwell Banker.

The campaign is reaching audiences in neighboring states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland while print ads are running in national magazines such as Oprah, Good Housekeeping and Southern Living. In fact, vacationers from both the northeast and points south are also the focus of the campaign. And in just a few weeks Delaware’s boardwalks will be crowded with people from out of town.

“Typically the favorite states I’d like to say that visitors come from are Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia. We have people come from as far away as California, Ohio, New York,” Sulecki said.

Every year, 7.3 million visitors make their way through Delaware. While the goal is to increase that number, once thing is certain, travelers have plenty of beach rentals to choose from down state.

“We handle over 500 rental properties and most of those are weekly, but we have seasonal and year round. A lot of our weekly owners, even our seasonal owners, will go into wintertime,” Sulecki said.

Jack Lingo realtors reported positive numbers possibly linked to the Endless Discoveries campaign as well. In fact, numbers are on the rise and slightly up from 2014.

Karen Falk added, “We generally go up every year between 3 and 5 percent so right now we seem to be going up when it comes to our rentals. People are calling in and getting ready for the season.”

As far as the response to the commercial and print ads promoting the state, tourism officials say people have been enthusiastic and excited to learn and see a side of Delaware they didn’t know existed.

“We’re really happy that those images are going around this part of the country, northeast and the mid-east area so that people know that we are a great place to visit year round,” Falk said.

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