Las Vegas' new effort to bolster its global appeal

LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has embarked on a six-figure effort to boost the city's image in Mexico, Canada, and the UK.

LAS VEGAS: The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has embarked on a six-figure effort to boost the city's image in Mexico, Canada, and the UK.

The organization chose to target these three countries because the majority of its international tourists come from those markets, said Jo Crimmins, PR Group account director for R&R Partners, LVCVA's AOR and partner for the effort.

After conducting internal research, the organization developed a PR strategy for each market. Surveys found that in the UK, Las Vegas is still primarily considered a gaming destination, so outreach in the region will focus on promoting the city's fine dining, golfing, spa, and outdoor adventure.

"In Mexico and Canada, there was already an understanding of what the Las Vegas brand stood for - adult freedom and entertainment," she said.

In Mexico, the organization will launch its successful What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas campaign this year. The Canadian PR effort is the same as the Your Vegas is Showing campaign that launched in the US earlier this year, she added.

Outreach in the UK will primarily target three key markets: those who make more than $72,000 annually, the adventurous consumer and tech-savvy consumers, and those who enjoy socializing or fine dining. The target audiences in Mexico include recent retirees and youthful weekend party seekers. Canadian outreach will hone into the image-conscious, health enthusiasts, and those interested in gourmet cooking.

Media outreach to all three regions includes press trips for journalists to learn about Las Vegas and on-the-road events that raise awareness of non-gambling activities. Press targets include consumer and lifestyle media, regional dailies and weeklies, and morning shows and entertainment programs.

The effort will be evaluated on the amount of tourism it drives.

"We're pushing for 43 million visitors by 2012, and obviously need to look further in the field than domestic to drive those numbers," Crimmins said. "Our efforts are being driven by PR because of the exchange rate. We are not getting as much paid media for our dollar."

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