Visit Hot Springs
Hot Springs has always been a popular place to visit due to some unique natural advantages. But travel is a unique industry, and the competition for those weekends and vacation days is fierce. When CJRW started working on the 2015/2016 creative campaign for Hot Springs, the area was already experiencing a successful season. Income generated by the 2% tourism tax was increasing, but slowly. Our challenge then for 2015 was not only to encourage visitors to stay longer, but also to compel them to pack in more activities during their stay.
For 2015, CJRW started with an idea. Then, we made history. We thought about the shared history of Hot Springs – places like Bathhouse Row, the Historic Baseball Trail, Oaklawn Park and McClard’s BBQ. We also thought about personal history – the memories that attach themselves to the rest of our lives. We travel for that purpose above any other, to experience something worth remembering. Everything we do on vacation is more important for this reason. Every fishing trip or reunion with an old friend, every night on the town is another opportunity to look back happily on time well spent.
Exploring the more personal side of travel, our creative team developed personal travel experiences and engaging messages. CJRW produced content encouraging vacationers to make memories in Hot Springs. We told the story of Ben and his daughter, Malia, on their first trip together. We followed a group of five friends, reunited as adults (acting like kids) for the weekend. CJRW also launched HotSprings.org, a redesign of the previous site based on the new creative and direction. The redesigned focused on ease of use and organized by travel experiences.
Authenticity comes through experience, and we built upon these experiences to create authentic, engaging content. These stories unfolded in print, on television and over the radio. And they worked. Hot Springs tourism tax collections rose by 9.31% over 2014. And as of June 2016, tax collections are up 6.29% over 2015. In travel marketing as in all other, authentic content is the spearhead of any successful campaign, and the real decisions of travelers, shown clearly by the results, bear out that fact.