The Importance of Local Tourism to Every Industry, with Joel Cliff

Written by Daniel Southwell on August 24, 2020

Every industry has been hit hard this year, but few harder than tourism. In places like Lancaster County, where tourism is a huge part of the economy and one of the largest sources of employment, it’s an uncertain time. On our new show Marketing Conversations, Josh talked about this and more with Joel Cliff of Discover Lancaster.

We’re All Connected to Tourism

Without a tourism recovery, the recovery of the entire county economically won’t be nearly as robust as it could be

It’s easy to see Lancaster county tourism as isolated from other local industries, or see your always-evolving 2020 marketing strategy as separate from all the tourism advertising, but they’re not. 

According to Discover Lancaster, almost 9 million people visited Lancaster County in 2018, spending nearly 3 billion dollars. These visitors supported over 25 thousand jobs. Tourism is an integral part of the local economy, and local economies around the world.

As marketers and business owners in Lancaster county, we’re all economically tied to the tourism industry, whether it’s immediately obvious or not. It’s obvious that amusement parks and hotels will continue to suffer if tourism numbers are down. It’s nearly as obvious that restaurants, coffee shops, and bars will lose customers as well. But even companies that don’t interact with tourists will suffer the secondhand effects of this loss of local revenue as other businesses tighten their belts.

So What Should We Do About It?

Many companies’ first instinct is to fight harder for a slice of a smaller pie, rather than cooperatively working to make the pie bigger. Organzations like Discover Lancaster, a nonprofit partnership with members in dozens of industries, offer an alternative: cooperative marketing to promote and enrich an entire local economy. 

This results in a positive, generous advertising strategy that recognizes how a thriving local economy, fed by a continued influx of outside visitors, benefits every business. That means advertising that focuses on the good, celebrating what we all have to offer, and generating local pride.

That’s the kind of advertising we want to see more of.

Watch the Full Interview

You can listen to the audio only version HERE

Digging Deeper

  • Discover Lancaster is focused on reopening tourism safely. You can read more about visiting Lancaster County safely HERE
  • Discover Lancaster has been focusing on promoting socially distanced tourism, like they do HERE
  • A lot of people aren’t traveling for vacations this year. You can read more about that HERE
  • Tourism is a huge economic driver for Lancaster County. You can read more about that HERE
  • Top of Mind Awareness is an important metric for brands to consider and improve. You can read more about it HERE