Marketing Tahoe both near and far |

Marketing Tahoe both near and far

Patricia Hickson

It is no secret that Tahoe is Northern Nevada’s prime attraction, but the scope and geographical outreach to lure visitors to the area may surprise some.

While officials at the Incline Village/Crystal Bay visitors center said they aim the majority of their $1.2 million marketing budget attracting California visitors, the Nevada Commission on Tourism has recently extended its reach as far beyond the drive market.

Chris Chrystal, spokeswoman for the commission, said the recent acquisition of a license to advertise in China is the only one issued to any U.S. governmental entity.

“In China you can not advertise unless you they say so,” Chrystal said. “We are allowed to go over there and advertise and we advertise Lake Tahoe, and so we are expecting to influence a lot of Chinese that come over here.”

And the effort seems to be working as foreign dollars have contributed to the state’s $40-plus-billion-per-year tourism industry.

“Recently we’ve had large groups of tourists from China, as well as down deep in Mexico,” Chrystal said. “We also have had Japanese journalists, and people from Britain, Ireland and Scotland.

“These are all big markets for us.”

While an influx of international visitors is a boon to the local economy, the majority of resources from the local visitors center will continue to be spent attracting those from the Greater Bay Area and Sacramento as well as Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego, said Bill Hoffman, executive director of the visitors center, which is overseen by the Reno-Sparks Convention Visitors Authority.

Ronele Klingensmith, president of Ronele Klingensmith Public Relations, said she works with a consortium of businesses including the RSCVA, the Nevada Commission on Tourism, various smaller visitors bureaus to craft marketing strategies for the region.

“We put together a story pitch (for Tahoe),” Klingensmith said. “What we have done is promote the true Tahoe true blue message. We take that and then talk about what is offered up here – from golf to skiing to arts and culture, and we really focus in on those aspects.”

Klingensmith said an in-flight video focusing on Tahoe is currently running on airplanes coasting into the Reno Tahoe International.

“This is a destination where anything is possible,” Klingensmith said, paraphrasing the branding message promoted for Northern Nevada.

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