An independent study found Delaware’s tourism campaign is changing people’s perceptions of the state, for the better.
FutureBrand, an international brand consulting firm, conducted the study and just released its results.
The research showed more than half of respondents were more interested in visiting Delaware after seeing the state’s tourism logo, tourism website, official travel guide, etc.
Delaware rebranded itself from, “Small Wonder” to “Endless Discoveries,” about two years ago. Images of waves and Delaware’s beaches are the focal point of the state’s new tourism marketing campaign.
“The small state of Delaware makes a big impact on domestic tourists, according to our research,” said Chris Nurko, global chairman of FutureBrand. “Of those surveyed, 52 percent were more interested in visiting Delaware after seeing the state’s marketing – a score that outranks almost every other state in the study.”
According to the study, Delaware’s focus on beach/water imagery was “clearly the right move,” and the branding increased potential travelers’ association of the state with “key drivers of visitation: the beach, adventure and outdoor activity.”
Idaho claimed the number one spot, outscoring the First State by just one percentage point.
“It is extremely gratifying to have an outside company confirm the significant positive response the state tourism office has been getting from the ‘Endless Discoveries’ campaign,” said Parkowski, who learned about the results of the third-party study in August. “Since that campaign launched in early 2015, we’ve seen tremendous growth in our numbers. Now, we have independently verified proof that Endless Discoveries resonates with possible visitors.”
Visit Delaware created Endless Discoveries as a part of the state’s first ever comprehensive tourism branding effort. Broadcast, print and online advertising was focused on Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., reaching 18 million people in 2015.
“We aimed to spark traveler’s curiosity and lead them on a journey of discovery,” Parkowski said. “The branding is now visible all over the state and region. It connects with people on a personal level and shows them Delaware is a great place to make travel memories that will last a lifetime.”
Delaware began putting a strategic emphasis on tourism in 2008, and since then it has grown into a $3 billion a year industry, which brings in eight million annual visitors and generates $470 million in taxes and fees for state and local government.