Pennsylvania Americana Region’s Transformation From the Reading/Berks County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Searching for a unique identification that would more aptly describe the uniqueness of the area and counteract Google searches that immediately served up information that the City of Reading had a larger percentage of households in poverty than any other city in the United States, an effort was undertaken to create a transformation and a new business model to increase the financial prospects of the DMO over the long term. The multi-year effort included (1) a comprehensive inventory of the tourism resources and assets within a 20 mile radius, (2) segmenting and targeting the most lucrative markets that could be attracted to the area (3) geo-spatial location of markets within a typical driving traveler radius, (4) benchmarking of other destinations that were changing their business models (5) a business and revenue analysis of the funding that could be available from a new business model, (6) development of standardized and customizable marketing partner packages, (7) illustration of the online promotional possibilities, (8) perception research, (9) three stage facilitated re-identification process, (10) development of a new destination story, (11) development of a totally new, comprehensive website that included more than 1,110 locations, with original copy and member conversion capabilities, (12) implementation of integrated marketing automation software, (13) development of visitor-ready travel packages, (14) development of marketing plan including primary visitor personas, visitor decision journey, inbound marketing, search engine optimization, (15) establishing a social media command and management post and social media listening post, (16) implementation of a robust digital marketing program that resulted in doubling likes, re-posts and other market interactions, and (17) comprehensive analysis of program results.