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How Boston saw winter tourism and bookings increase through a co-op marketing campaign.
Boston is famous for many reasons: bustling universities, the Boston Pops, the Boston Tea Party, the Battle of Bunker Hil. But it’s also famous for its unpredictable winters. It was their wintery weather that was negatively impacting seasonal demand for the city. Knowing that there is plenty of urban and colonial charm in Boston year-round, the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau (GBCVB), along with local hotels, believed that they had an opportunity to increase travel to Boston during this softer-season.
Expedia Group Media Solutions coordinated with the Lodging Partner Services division of Expedia Group to engage 24 Boston hotel partners in a cooperative effort. Specifically, they devised a co-op marketing campaign to increase travel to, and hotel bookings in, Boston. Co-ops bring organizations together to achieve mutual marketing objectives. In this case, the collaboration pooled the resources of the GBCVB and the participating hotels to bolster tourism to Boston. The campaign targeted people searching for Boston to make sure advertisements were meeting the right audience at the right time. The creative linked to a dedicated landing page about the destination featuring the partner hotels, as well as cultural and historical events. This approach created a one-stop page for all their travel shopping needs.
Thanks to Expedia.com’s audience reach, the destination, as well as the participating hotels, gained valuable market exposure helping them increase their brand recognition.
By all measures, the co-op campaign was a booming success. The participants realized a 25:1 return on ad spend and participating hotels saw a year-over-year increase in gross bookings of nearly 20 percent. This campaign demonstrates the collaborative power of co-op campaigns, in this case translating into heightened brand awareness, increased bookings, and incremental revenue. Perhaps Beth Stehley Vice President of Sales and Convention Services for the GBCVB put it best, when speaking about the outcome of the campaign: “Wow! Great results. Speechless.”
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