What’s on the horizon?
The Delaware Tourism Office is working hard on expanding and enhancing offerings to the industry, clients, and travelers. Here is a look at what's on the horizon.
Delaware Destination Development Program
In early 2020, through support from the Department of State (our parent agency), the Delaware Tourism Office began work on the Delaware Destination Development Program which aims to support tourism destinations through an incubator and workshop training program. We are excited to share that this program is now able to move forward!
Please look for an announcement later this month with more details on the program and application process.
Delaware Discoveries Trail
The Delaware Discoveries Trail launched in September 2020 and offers 10 Insta-worthy interactive art locations at museums, outdoor recreation, and a brewery to promote exploration of the state’s off-the-beaten-path locations. As a COVID compliant way to explore the state, it has piqued the interest of travelers and residents alike, generating a lot of buzz on social media.
As interest has increased in the trail, we’ve recently added a new location at the Chase Center in Riverfront Wilmington to commemorate this Fall's historic moment. A second new location is set to be unveiled at the Delaware Botanic Gardens in 2021. Learn more about the trail at DelawareDiscoveries.com.
Although nationwide sports tourism had a difficult 2020, it was one of the few tourism sectors that provided economic impact to Delaware in 2020. DTO worked with 25 events from March 2020 - December 2020.
As we look forward, in addition to working with upcoming COVID compliant events and tournaments at complexes throughout Delaware, there is also a focus on two major events in the 2021 and 2022 calendar, Maryland 5 Star, a four-day equestrian triathlon, and the PGA BMW Championship Club.
The Maryland 5 Star event is currently seeking sponsorship and onsite activation opportunities. In addition, many teams coming to Delaware in 2021 are looking to provide their athletes and families with options on discovering Delaware when off the field. Please reach out to the DTO's Sports Sales Leader, Ryan Wolfe at [email protected] to learn about Maryland 5 Star opportunities and ideas in providing experiences and offerings for the teams.
Discover Delaware Campaign
As Americans welcomed Delaware into their homes on every news outlet over the past few months, we have been busy developing the “Discover Delaware” campaign to promote living, working, and visiting in Delaware. Campaign advertising ran on television and online media from January 9 through January 31, earning over 30 million impressions. A new campaign website was developed and had 80,000 visits in just 3 weeks.
So, what’s next for the campaign? A spring co-op will be announced in the coming weeks for statewide organizations to continue the momentum in raising the awareness of Delaware.
In the FY 2020 the Delaware Tourism Office brought $3 Million in group tour revenue to the state. During FY 2021 the group tour market has been one of the hardest hit in the industry. We continue to communicate and work every day with group tour companies, leaders, and Delaware attractions to provide the latest travel safety information and guidelines to create COVID compliant options for 2021 and 2022. There are clients reaching out and ready to book in Delaware, which is a great sign!
Looking ahead we will be attending the virtual American Bus Association Marketplace in Baltimore in June, as well as continuing to develop new types of tours with smaller groups, off-the-beaten-path locations, and outdoor themes with a focus on COVID safety and compliance. With many of the state organizations facing budget and staffing constraints, know that we are here to help sell your location to group tour clients.
If you have updated information and offerings to share with group tour clients, email Sales Director/Group Tour Sales Leader Tina Madanat at [email protected].
Despite COVID-19, the Delaware Tourism Office has continued to work on enhancing VisitDelaware.com, which is the #1 source of travel information in the state. Coming soon in 2021, the site will have a fresh new look, more in-depth travel ideas, and integration with Google to assist our visitors with planning their trips. It is vitally important to ensure your free website listing is up to date by submitting information to /industry/business-listing.
Also please remember to make sure your Google My Business account is up to date. For more information on how to do this, view a recent webinar we hosted.