8/22/2014 10:49:00 AM Guest column: talking tourism
Gioia Goodrum Williams-Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce CEO
Tourism is the life blood of Williams. Our attractions, restaurants, lodging and the Grand Canyon at our doorstep are the keys to our success. Have you ever wondered what the Chamber does with regard to promoting Williams as a destination? On July 22nd, at the Grand Canyon Railway, the Chamber put on a presentation featuring Heather Hermen from Front Burner Media, Sean Casey from Bearizona and Jeff D'Arpa and Bruce Brossman from Grand Canyon Railway to talk about marketing, trends, strategies and tips.
Hermen presented examples of new markets targeted through the partnership with the Arizona Office of Tourism. Sunset magazine, the Arizona Republic, LA Times, billboards at Sky Harbor and AAA Highroads were some that she mentioned. Our ExperienceWilliams.com mobile site went live on June 18th and had over 10,000 page views in less than two weeks. Social media continues to be an important piece of our marketing strategy, in particular Facebook and a new Alpine Harvest Festival Facebook page that will launch soon.
Jeff D'Arpa and Bruce Brossman talked about the Railway's strategy to market not only their product but Williams as well. Brossman mentioned the cooperative marketing award received at the Governor's Conference on Tourism presented to Bearizona, Grand Canyon Railway and the Chamber. He touched upon the benefit of Bearizona's Howly, Growly, Owly and the Scarecrow Contest helping to enhance their Pumpkin Patch Train efforts. D'Arpa suggested that businesses can utilize the internet and companies like Trip Advisor to check reviews and feedback from guests.
Casey touched on the importance of partnerships and their benefit to small communities like Williams. He mentioned www.azattractions.com as a good example of a partnership between business and communities. The site is a partnership of nine different Northern Arizona attractions designed to promote longer visitation to the area.
The Chamber is offering a workshop, Starting Your Own Business, Aug. 25 from 8:30-10 a.m. at the Chamber office, 200 W Railroad Ave. This workshop is for existing business owners looking for information on growing their business, new entrepreneurs seeking help with getting their business going and those considering becoming an entrepreneur. For more information, visit the chamber website at www.williamschamber.org and click on our event calendar. Call Pimi Bennett today at (928) 635-0273 x203 and let her know you'll be there!