OBJECTIVE: Create a tourism infrastructure and organization to promote Salem as a visitor destination. Develop a strategic plan and recommend marketing tactics to grow local, regional, national and international business to the city.
Worked with the City of Salem to develop a strategy for tourism marketing by studying their structure and developing ways for the community to work more closely together.
The City was willing to provide $65,000 worth of seed money to help market the destination, but under the existing marketing organization, the majority of the private sector was not willing to participate. Working with the City of Salem, the Salem Chamber of Commerce, and various other associations as well as the private sector, we were able to uncover common ground and develop a recommendation for the future of economic development in Salem. The plan included the recommendation for a new structure, by-laws, budget (how to turn the $65,000 into $300,000 the first year in order to have enough funds to market the destination properly) and how to coordinate these efforts with the City.
Subsequently, Open the Door was hired to complete the second phase of this project, which included consumer research, branding and the development of a multi-year strategic plan, as well as a third phase which included recommendations for marketing tactics.
A new organization housed within City Hall in Salem, was formed and is funded by both the public and private sector.
In the first year of operation, Destination Salem reported a 15% increase in visitation to Salem.
After implementing the new brand and strategic plan, visitation numbers increased 12% over the previous year.