Embracing Change

By Katharine Cato

As the snow continues to fall and the daffodils bloom, you can tell it is springtime in Ashland. Winter isn’t ready to step away yet. Mt. Ashland Ski Area, with a record-breaking season both with snowfall and skier visits has extended its season and we couldn’t be happier. In an ever-changing landscape of the seasons that roll by, Travel Ashland focuses on the future but is constantly working to promote the present. Our spring campaigns are underway reaching not only our flight and drive markets but those visitors within a 150 mile radius from the coast through Northern California. We are building out our ‘Dream Like a Local’ campaign to roll out early June. This campaign is an exciting example of doing something new. It will inspire visitors to experience Ashland through recommendations from locals like them. No one knows Ashland like a local. From the best trails to the best meals; our locals have the insight into how to get the most out of a trip to Ashland. No matter what you are into, there is something for everyone. We will invite our locals that lineup with our visitor personas to craft their perfect trip itineraries. Family favorites and kid friendly activities may feature both the parent and kids perspective. The campaign builds off the tagline “Live Your Daydreams” to inspire visitors to experience the magic of Ashland through the eyes of a local. Through paid media including social ads inviting folks to share their favorites to organic content we will be engaging our key target audiences. Featured itineraries will appear in our upcoming annual Visitor Guide to publish in June but will also be threaded through our display ads in static, animated and video.

Building upon the concept of Ashland serving as a basecamp for adventure in our region, our work in diversifying tourism continues with our stakeholders, looking at events in Ashland, how we can expand and grow them throughout the year. Looking at our assets and how we can strengthen Ashland’s infrastructure to welcome a more diverse audience is also part of our action plan for our Economic Diversification study completed in 0ctober 2022.

As we look towards summer and fall, planning is underway to best promote Ashland and the many amenities we have to offer. Ashland continues to welcome a new visitor for new reasons. In addition to Ashland’s cultural traveler coming for the Ashland Independent Film Festival and performances at OSF and the Oregon Cabaret, Ashland successfully draws the outdoor adventure traveler in addition to the food and wine traveler, putting Ashland on the map for many reasons.

Beyond the leisure traveler, Travel Ashland works with our partners to invite and welcome groups, tours and conferences. Knowing that ‘3rd party perspective’ is so valuable we also invest time and energy into collaborating with partners to host travel writers and our tourism industry that so well amplifies the work we do and the experience we offer here in Ashland. Stay tuned for more exciting things coming up soon.

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