Paducah Visitors Bureau Achieves Destination Marketing Accreditation

MaryTHE PADUCAH MCCRACKEN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (CVB) was awarded accreditation in 2008 from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP). DMAP is an international accreditation program developed by the Washington, DC based Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI). In earning the DMAP accreditation, destination marketing organizations (DMOs) communicate to their community, buyers and potential visitors that their DMO has attained a significant measure of excellence.

“The Paducah CVB is honored to receive the destination Marketing Accreditation from DMAP.” Said Mary Hammond, Executive Director of the Paducah CVB, “We are very pleased to be recognized in the destination marketing community for providing outstanding services in accordance with international standards and benchmarks in this field.”

“By applying for and receiving DMAP accreditation, the Paducah CVB has demonstrated a commitment to quality programs and services, said Barry Biggar, CDME, DMAP Board Chair. “Earning DMAP accreditation tells the Paducah community and potential visitors that your DMO has attained a measure of excellence assuring that their trust is well placed and their business is in good hands.”

marketingDMAI’s goal is to enhance the professionalism, effectiveness, and image of destination marketing organizations worldwide. As the world’s largest and most reliable resource for official destination marketing organizations, with offices in North America and Europe, DMAI is dedicated to improving the effectiveness of over 1,500 professionals from 625+ destination marketing organizations in more than 25 countries.

The Paducah CVB joins an elite group of DMOs having met the rigorous standards of industry accreditation. DMAP accreditation standards cover a wide variety of topics including governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, brand management, research/market intelligence, innovation and stakeholder relationships. Only 43 CVBs in the United States had attained this status at the time the Paducah CVB’s application was submitted. The Louisville and Lexington bureaus are the only other accredited DMOs in Kentucky.

DMAP is an independent internal accreditation body and leader in defining quality and performance issues in destination marketing.

Let’s give ‘em something to talk about

THE BUZZ IS ABOUT “PADUCAH.” Since 2004, the CVB’s “Feel the Movement” advertising campaigns have been seen in three geographic markets—Chicago, St. Louis, and Nashville, and in national art patron publications. In fall 2007, the CVB’s ad agency, TDSM in Ottawa, IL, also created Unbridled Culture, a cooperative advertising campaign between Paducah and Lexington. This campaign, deemed a Best Practices example by the Kentucky Department of Travel, expanded in 2008 to include Shepherdsville and offered an opportunity for viewers to respond by registering to win a seven-day tour of Kentucky’s top cultural destinations.

A two-page spread Unbridled Culture ad ran in the September issues of Condé Nast Traveler, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Architectural Digest in the St. Louis market. The campaign also included an ad on the back cover of the September/October issue of Preservation magazine, which has a national circulation of 185,000, and Internet advertising in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Chicago Tribune and the Smithsonian. An enthusiastic recipient of a recent “admail” sent to subscribers responded:

“What a wonderful opportunity for someone to travel to KY and see that beautiful state, as well as enjoy some of the many cultural opportunities. Just made for someone who has never been able to travel there! Thank you for making this possible.”

Joel Newman, Interactive Advertising Operations Coordinator for Smithsonian Media commented, “This might be the most excited response we have received in regard to a dedicated email we sent out!”

The “Feel the Movement” and “Unbridled Culture” campaigns have provided more than 13,000 “qualified” leads in the CVB’s leisure traveler database. The 2008 UC campaign provided more than 3,000 registrants for the trip giveaway.

The Paducah Visitors Bureau and National Quilt Museum have partnered on an advertising campaign focused on quilters and fiber artists. This partnership was developed in part as a response to the research data captured from a conversion study conducted by the Visitors Bureau this past February and the congressional designation naming the museum as “The National Quilt Museum of the United States.” The survey, which was sent to subscribers who responded to the CVB’s advertising campaigns, showed the importance of quilting to visitors.

The congressional designation provided a new competitive advantage that revitalized our image in the leisure travel market and enhanced the opportunity for a new alliance and cooperative marketing partnership. Beginning January 2009, online and print ads will be seen in Fons & Porter publications, which have a distribution of nearly 400,000. The campaign also includes 3 issues of Fiber Arts Magazine, covering the best and most interesting work in textile mediums.