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Apr 21, 2015 - News from Visit Spokane

Visit Spokane Today!

Tim Robinson
Director of Communications & PR
Office: 509.742.9373 Cell: 509.993.9824
Email: TRobinson@VisitSpokane.com

Peyton Scheller, CTA
Communications Manager
Office: 509.742.9377
Email: PScheller@VisitSpokane.com
President's Perspective

Cheryl-Headshot-use-thisThank you to everyone who helped with the Washington Tourism Alliance legislation this year!  We have made significant progress and the most important development is that legislators have recognized that Washington should have a statewide tourism marketing effort.  How we establish a tourism program and fund it are complicated issues that are still being worked through.  At this stage, the WTA is moving its focus from the bill that would formally establish a long-term funding mechanism to getting "bridge funding." This will keep WTA minimally funded as we ramp up for the "long-term funding bill" next session.  The current Senate budget includes this bridge funding and acknowledgment that if a long-term funding mechanism is adopted in the next session, the bridge funding for 2017 would be unnecessary.  What we need at this stage is for our industry to ask our House Representatives to include bridge funding in their version of the budget so that we continue to have a state tourism website, have the funds to distribute the official Washington State Visitors Guide, have the ability to support a call center to answer visitor inquiries, and the ability to participate in some key international marketing efforts.  Follow this link to learn more.

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Cheryl Kilday
President & CEO

Save the date!

Join us May 4 at 11:30am for our giant photo op during our kickoff to National Travel and Tourism Week!

Here's how it will work:
  • Go to the Spokane Tribal Gathering Place (next to Spokane City Hall) at 11:30am
  • Get the facts about the huge economic impact travel and tourism has on the Spokane region
  • Grab a provided sign and head to the designated location for a photo op (we'll be there to show you!)
  • Smile big and pose for the photo (trust us, this is a photo you want to be a part of!)
What you need to do to prep for your big photo op:
  • Wear red (it's THE color for National Travel and Tourism Week)
  • Invite all your friends, coworkers, etc.
National Travel and Tourism Week is May 2-10, help us kick it off in a big way!

Sales Update

The sales team continued to keep positive momentum moving forward in the month of March.  The team generated 18 leads representing 28,310 lead room nights.  Last year during this same time period, we generated 15 leads for a total of 7,009 lead room nights.  These results had the team exceeding the monthly lead goal by 142%!  The definite group room night activity for the month was 2,605 guestrooms against a target of 5,500, putting the team at 47% of our definite goal for the month. Based on current year over year numbers, while we are behind in target definite goals, we continue to be ahead of actuals in 2015 by 102% over the same time period in 2014.  

The convention services team in the month of March assisted 74 clients on details for their upcoming events, which is up 151% year over year.  During this same time period they generated 223 service referrals and eight service requests to our partners, which is up 121% over the prior year.  The housing team processed 394 reservations, generating 2,273 room nights in the month of March.  

Web Update

Our website, VisitSpokane.com, is a trusted resource for visitors who are planning a trip to the Spokane region (and locals who want to be in the know!). Here is a breakdown of a few statistics:
  • Visits to the main site are up 24% over this last year while visits to the mobile site are up 15%. Total visits (main + mobile) have increased by 22%.
  • Pageviews increased by 31% and pages per visit increased by six percent.
  • Organic traffic on the main site is up by 30%, while organic traffic increased by 55% on the mobile site. Total organic traffic is up by 34%.
  • Organic entries to the Attractions page increased by 160%, by 82% on the Nightlife page, by 103% in the Restaurant section and by four percent in the Hotels section.
Other notable stats:
  • VisitSpokane.com ranked first on Google when people searched "Spokane breweries," "Spokane events," "Spokane nightlife," "things to do in Spokane" and "things to do in Spokane Valley."
  • VisitSpokane.com ranked first on Google, Bing and Yahoo when people searched "Spokane events" and "Spokane shopping."
Where in the World?

Director of Regional Accounts Brooke LaFleur attended MPI Cascadia , March 1-3, in Grand Mound, WA. A regional event bringing together meeting professionals from throughout the Pacific Northwest, Brooke had the opportunity to network and meet with industry peers.  

Vice President of Sales and Services Keith Backsen and Regional Director of National Accounts Kim Ritten traveled to Orlando, March 8-10, for the American Society of Association Executives Great Ideas Conference.  The educational conference was an opportunity to network and learn from other meeting professionals.

Director of Sales Shannon Shannon and Spokane Convention Center's Kelsey Soukup traveled to Seattle, March 18-19, for sales calls and to attend the Pacific Northwest Professional Convention Management Association meeting and reception.

President & CEO Cheryl Kilday attended Destinations Week in Washington, DC, March 20-26, which included meetings with Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), US Travel and the National Council of State Travel Directors. Throughout the week, Cheryl made calls on Capitol Hill and met with elected officials about tourism issues.

Where in the World is ACE?

Ace, our mobile visitor information rig, and our Visitor Engagement Specialist, Melissa Skomer-Kafton, are back on the road meeting visitors at regional events! Here is where Ace has been recently, and where Ace will be going next:

April 16: National Conferences on Undergraduate Research, Eastern Washington University
April 17-18: World Wide Dreambuilders, Spokane Arena
May 1-2: Bloomsday Trade-Show, Spokane Convention Center
May 6: City Hall at the Mall, Spokane Valley Mall
May 8: Washington State University Graduation, WSU - Spokane
May 9: USA Gymnastics Women's Level 9 Western Championships, Spokane Convention Center
May 10: Gonzaga University Graduation, Gonzaga University
May 16: Armed Forces Torchlight Parade, Downtown Spokane

For more Ace updates, make sure you follow Ace on Twitter at @VisitSpokaneACE.

Partner Tip

Our Partner Tip this month is all about listings. Many of you have multiple listings on our website for one business. For example, say you are a restaurant that is located in a historic building. You have one listing that is specific to food and drink, and another listing that is specific to historic buildings. Did you know that you can alter the text of each listing to best fit the category it is listed under?

Our tip: look at your listing text by category. If you have the same text for every one of your listings, modify the text to align with the specific category.

When you look at the text for each of your listings, do you get a broad, somewhat generic understanding of everything your business has to offer? If so, change it up by utilizing the different categories your business falls under by creating engaging and relevant listing descriptions.

To edit your listings, login to the Partner Extranet. If you need assistance, please contact Brooklyn Gibson at bgibson@visitspokane.com.

ACE Classes
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Become a member of the Inland Northwest ACE Team! An initiative of Visit Spokane to propel our hospitality industry forward, this four hour training includes a two hour interactive classroom session and a two hour experiential bus tour. Participants will learn about our region's history, attractions and more. Register for upcoming classes here.

#VisitSpokane
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Visit Spokane is on Instagram and we want to see your pics! Tag your Spokane photos with #VisitSpokane and it may be shared on our Instagram account, or the next visitor e-newsletter.

New Members

Das Stein Haus
Get Air Spokane
Uber
Whiz Kids
WSU Connections

Member Anniversaries

20+ Years
Clinkerdagger
Eagles Ice-A-Rena
Klundt Hosmer Design
Latah Creek Wine Cellars
Lydig Construction, Inc.
Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach Water Park
Spokane Restaurant Equipment

15-19 Years
Alpha Omega Tours & Charters, Inc
Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park
Sandman Hotel Castlegar, British Columbia

10-14 Years
Azteca Restaurant Northpointe
Downriver Golf Course
Esmeralda Golf Course
Indian Canyon Golf Course
Italian Kitchen
Paine Hamblen LLP
The Creek at Qualchan
The Inlander
The Warehouse Athletic Facility

5-9 Years
American Exploration & Mining Association
Davenport Flowers
Davenport Home
Fai's Noodle House at Northern Quest Resort & Casino
Hampton Inn and Suites Spokane Valley
Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox
Music & Event Services
Olive Garden
Ruby2
Sixth Man Marketing
United Hillyard Antique Mall
Lake Roosevelt Wine Company (formerly Whitestone Winery)

1-4 Years
Abba's Catholic Bookstores
Das Stein Haus
Itron Inc.
Luna Restaurant and Catering
Red Lion Templin's Hotel on the River
The Old Spaghetti Factory
Triple Play Family Fun Park
Wheatland Express

Spokane. Near nature. Near perfect.

801 W Riverside,   Ste 301, Spokane, WA 99201.
Reproduction or use of the contents on this site is prohibited without expressed written consent.
For more information please call 1(888)SPOKANE.


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