Visit San Antonio: Marketing, August 2019
New Visitor’s Guide
The latest version of the Official San Antonio Visitor’s Guide published in early June and is being distributed to those requesting San Antonio information, as well as at all Texas Travel Information Centers and the San Antonio International Airport. This year’s guide features a brand new layout showcasing content and images in fun new ways, covering information about San Antonio’s assets and what’s new. A total of 350,000 guides were printed in English and another 25,000 in Spanish. A segment of 50,000 Texas Monthly subscribers received a copy with their July issue. The majority of the Spanish guides are being distributed through key publications in Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara.
Visit San Antonio Wins BIG at ESTO
This week at US Travel Association’s ESTO meeting, Visit San Antonio and The Atkins Group were awarded the Destiny Award for Best Branding & Integrated Marketing Campaign and Best Website in the nation.
Summer marketing initiatives continued strong through July and into August. More than 360,000,000 impressions reached consumers through digital advertising, social media, print, email, streaming radio and TV, and cable and network TV through August. With funds from the newly established Tourism Public Improvement District, Marketing enhanced the summer plan with increasing digital marketing, incorporating more video; added to the SEM and paid social media efforts, including native and influencer marketing; expanded TV reach from 14 to 30 markets, including programmatic network TV; added innovative OOH units; and included a streaming radio partner. Efforts were focused on Texas, with reach also in the touch states and key national markets. The persona-based campaign reaches the target audiences efficiently through behavioral targeting. A Summer Sweepstakes from June 28 to Aug. 4 resulted in 7,558 entries and 6,161 opt-ins to the monthly e-newsletter. In addition, as part of a cable TV buy, NCC (National Cable Company) conducted a San Antonio summer sweepstakes June 10-July 8. The sweeps was promoted through 30-second promotional spots (approximately 875) across networks in the cable buy and drove consumers to a customized microsite for details on prizing. The July issue of Houstonia magazine include a six-page section devoted to San Antonio, including images and editorial about new things to see and do in the city. Summer co-op partners have special spotlights.
Summer Co-op Initiatives
A summer co-op campaign launched June 5 to give an extra boost to participating members Six Flags Fiesta Texas, The DoSeum, Natural Bridge Caverns, Acenar, Emily Morgan Hotel and Omni La Mansion del Rio. The campaign includes digital and print advertising, social media, custom emails and website spotlights. The Summer Co-op campaign continues through August in key Texas markets. In addition, a separate family vacation-themed e-mail deployed June 25 to more than 980,000 Texas family travelers promoting participating members SeaWorld San Antonio, Quarry Golf Club, LaQuinta Inn & Suites, Omni La Mansion del Rio, Hilton San Antonio Airport and the Explorer Pass. The email resulted in a very strong open rate of 24.4 percent and click-through-rate of 2.4 percent.
Day of the Dead Festivities
Marketing actions for September-October will focus on the Day of the Dead tradition and the unique experiences San Antonio will provide visitors. Messaging will include the breadth of activities in the city and will especially highlight the new Day of the Dead festival occurring Nov. 1-3.
An exciting new component for marketing San Antonio is a VisitSanAntonio.TV network. This network will offer a series of original shows featuring real people whose stories capture the heart and soul of San Antonio. Consumers will be able to immerse themselves in the destination in ways that are engaging and easily shareable through social channels. All stories will be authentic and informative and will represent San Antonio’s heritage, family, arts and culinary scenes. The search for San Antonio’s stars will begin in September with a call for entries.
Rio Grande Valley Consumer Events
The Marketing/Communications/Tourism team executed a consumer event in the Rio Grande Valley at La Plaza Mall in McAllen on June 28-29. The event encouraged people to learn what’s new and come to San Antonio for a summer vacation. Digital advertising, social media, billboards and radio spots promoted the event. Web traffic from the Rio Grande Valley increased 194 percent during the June 14-July 11 timeframe.
Digital marketing in Mexico and Canada pushed summer travel. Media partners in Mexico include Agency Trading Desk (programmatic, Device ID, paid social media, SEM); El Norte.com; Travel+Leisure.com; Quien.com; Life&Style.com; Marcobeteta.com; SpotX; TripAdvisor; Facebook, and Google Search. Print partners include El Norte (Monterrey) and Club Mural (Guadalajara). Partners in Canada include Agency Trading Desk (programmatic, Device ID, paid social media, SEM); The Weather Network; TripAdvisor, and SpotX. San Antonio as a cultural destination is also promoted through digital media in Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia.
Awareness & Image Studies
The purpose of the 2019 U.S., Canada and Mexico Awareness & Image studies is to measure awareness and image of San Antonio as a vacation destination among leisure travelers. Insights from the studies are providing information about changes in destination awareness and appeal and guiding adjustments to creative and media plans.
Content and design development are under way for a new Meetings website. The new website will be more visual, similar to the Leisure website and will streamline navigation and improve functionality to best meet meeting professionals’ needs.
Marketing is participating in tours of each district to learn from City Council leaders about some of each district’s hidden gems. The team is incorporating the information into the website, social media and other channels.
Meetings and Conventions
Visit San Antonio was named a 2019 Smart Stars Award Winner in the category of Best Convention Center or Destination Marketing Organization by Smart Meetings. In addition, Smart Meetings recently published an article promoting San Antonio’s culinary scene (May 6, Texas Culinary Explosion). Digital, web, social media and print marketing efforts are ongoing. A new co-op initiative, San Antonio meetings-themed custom e-mails, was implemented that spotlights participating partners Professional Images Photography, Markey’s, The Quarry Golf Club, SeaWorld San Antonio, Wyndham San Antonio River Walk, Holiday Inn Riverwalk San Antonio, Embassy Suites San Antonio Riverwalk, Biga on the Banks, CRE8AD8, Paesanos Restaurant Group, Embassy Suites at Brooks and Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa. Each email was deployed to 850,000 meeting professionals and then re-sent to non-openers.
Promote Your Holiday Events
Help us make sure consumers know all they can experience in San Antonio over the holidays. Add your events to VisitSanAntonio.com here. Also, the Submit an Event link now appears at the bottom of every page of the new VisitSanAntonio.com to make it easier for you. You do not have to be a Visit San Antonio member to add events.
Maps & Guides
Your customers might appreciate a copy of our convenient Tearaway Map showing the downtown and metro areas or our handy Dining & Nightlife Guides. If you would like a supply, please contact Visit San Antonio’s front desk at 210-244-2000.