Northern New Yorkers traveling outside the region are often surprised to discover that many people have never heard of the 1000 Islands. But, that’s not uncommon for tourism destinations that are regionally popular. As a Wisconsin native, I’d never heard of the Muskokas before moving to the Canadian border. Likewise, few people in the 1000 Islands seem to know about Door County, Wis., which is one of the most popular vacation regions in the Midwest.
These experiences illustrate that establishing a tourism “brand” that has broad reach is a challenge that requires significant resources, persistence and a focus on telling the brand’s story to out-of-area audiences. Even well-established tourism destinations have to work hard to keep their brand visible in primary markets and expand awareness in secondary markets. [Read more…]