Delaware creates endless discoveries to draw in more tourists (video)

 (Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

(Nichelle Polston/WHYY)

Delaware may be a small wonder but a new branding campaign tells a different story about the First State.

Delaware is now reintroducing itself as a state with “Endless Discoveries”. The catchy phrase is designed to spark interest in travelers and draw in more visitors from neighboring states. It wasn’t an easy decision according to Linda Parkowski, Director of Delaware Tourism. The new slogan beat out a number of other creative taglines such as “Forever First” and “96 miles of Discoveries” which reminds travelers that people can explore the entire length of the state in just 96 miles.

“There are so many endless discoveries in Delaware when we showed the research people a picture of Nemours Mansion, that’s an endless discovery,” Parkowski said.

On Monday, Gov. Jack Markell and state leaders gathered at the Brandywine Creek State Park Nature Center in Wilmington, another endless discovery where the Delaware Tourism Office highlighted details about the new campaign that even has a  commercial to help spread the word about the state.

Print advertisements as well as the commercial will start running this month to reach people as far as Ohio to make them aware that Delaware offers more than just beaches and tax free shopping. Popular magazines such as Good Housekeeping, Southern Living and Oprah are just a few that will feature the ads.

“This campaign will show thousands of Americans a side of Delaware they may not have seen before,” said Alan Levin, Cabinet Secretary of the Delaware Economic Development Office, which oversees the DTO.

Every year, 7.3 million visitors make their way through the state but Parkowski is looking to increase that number in 2015.

“Our target market is women. Our demographic is right around age 35 to 55 because they are the travel decision makers,” Parkowski said.

The tagline was developed in conjunction with a top tourism ad agency and a tourism market research firm that conducted interviews with consumers to discover what they knew of Delaware, and what message would resonate with them.

According to tourism officials, people often associated Delaware with negative images of Wilmington or traffic woes on Interstate 95 but new print advertisements and a commercial with the new slogan should help change that.

“So we’re going to work to change that image and make people more aware of what else there is about Delaware,” Parkowski said.

Markell added tourism impacts the state greatly, adding billions in revenue every year. He said the new campaign is just what the state needs.

“The state’s new tourism brand will highlight the rich collection of historical, cultural and natural attractions that make Delaware not just a great place to visit, but the best place to call home.”

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