For More Information:
William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone: (845) 486-2000, FAX: (845) 486-2021; firstname.lastname@example.org
December 8, 2001
ONLINE MARKETING DELIVERS FOR DUTCHESS
STEINHAUS FUNDS PROGRAM
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Dutchess County Executive William Steinhaus has proclaimed the recently revamped web site, dutchesstourism.com, a resounding success. He announced, “The statistics compiled by Dutchess County Tourism Promotion Agency (DCTPA) show a marked increase in the number of potential visitors they have reached during the past six months.” Steinhaus said, “More tourists to Dutchess County means more dollars in the cash registers of hundreds of area businesses. Even small businesses now have national and international exposure on dutchesstourism.com. Our communities as well as tourism-related businesses have gotten more involved by taking advantage of Tourism’s banner advertising program.”
DCTPA’s web site was redesigned last spring and launched in mid-May. There are now more than 100 pages of information, an interactive calendar of events, and updated graphics that are changed according to the season. The site also boasts a section geared for the group travel market, plus a pressroom and photo shop for use by travel writers.
The agency received a $95,000 grant from the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) earmarked for the web-based advertising program and maintaining the web site. IDA Chairman Michael Tomkovitch said, “One component of the grant provides for the ongoing measurement of how well dutchesstourism.com is being utilized. These statistics plainly illustrate how many more people have accessed information that will help them plan their trips to Dutchess County. I am pleased to report that more than six times the number of previous visitors have logged on since the start of the new, aggressive online marketing campaign.”
From mid-May to mid-October, the number of total visitors to dutchesstourism.com was 251,451, or an average of 50,000 visitors a month. This compares to 100,000 visitors to the previous web site during all of 2001. Total page views were 1,199,397 for the same five-month period.
According to the Travel Industry of America, 67% of all U.S. travelers use the Internet to research and plan their trips. And 74% of frequent travelers, defined as taking five or more trips annually, say they go online to research their destinations. A striking 85% of the 113 million adults online consider themselves travelers, meaning they’ve taken at least one trip of 50 miles or more away from home in the past year. This translates to a market of 96 million travelers who use the Internet.
Mr. Steinhaus continued, “The success of this program is attributable to being ahead of the curve when it comes to aggressive marketing strategies. Dutchess is always seeking new means to economic growth through business attraction and retention. We felt this would become a critical component of our Tourism Agency’s overall marketing strategy, and we were right on target. We may be utilizing a new medium, but our message remains the same – Dutchess County is a great tourism destination.”
Steinhaus intends to fund this program in 2003. “This is a relatively small investment for the county government to make when compared with the significant return we can achieve. Both Dutchess County’s general economy and our county government’s finances benefit through the sales tax revenues generated by more visitors to the community,” Steinhaus noted.
Executive Director of the DCTPA Karen Woods said, “The significant redesign of the site made it more interactive in anticipation of travelers’ needs. The success of the program is clearly due to this extra exposure to a market of millions of Internet consumers worldwide. We were able to develop and implement the program only because of the financial assistance from Dutchess County and the IDA.”
More than 3.6 million people visited Dutchess in 2001, spending in excess of $406 million. Tourism is the county’s second largest industry, sustaining more than 11,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating a payroll of $178 million. Tourism promotion is underwritten by a combination of public and private sector dollars.
2002 Press Releases