Tahoe goes to Britain
The Lake Tahoe tourism industry stepped onto a big playing field with approval by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority of an international marketing program.
The board of directors on Thursday unanimously approved a contract of $59,500 per year for three years, with a one-year cancellation clause, with England-based Development Associates.
International marketing “is a glaring omission in the (LTVA) marketing plans of the last few years,” said Douglas County Commissioner and LTVA Director Don Miner in a previous interview. “We have to be on the international radar.”
The organization, founded by American Blaine Henry, will market Lake Tahoe tourism, especially skiing, in the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries of Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium. Preliminary work would also be done in Germany.
The first two areas – the “low countries,” Henry said – have a large number of skiers with few skiing opportunities close to home.
“Three-quarters of a million ski packages a year are sold in the United Kingdom, almost all for overseas some place,” he said.
Henry has worked in international business development since 1985 and promoted Colorado tourism from 1987 to 1993 until its funding source, the state tourism board, was dissolved.
Using research in Colorado, he estimated that by starting the program immediately, 15,000 skiers from the United Kingdom could be expected next year. This year, an estimated 8,000 skiers came from that area, down from 12,000 last year.
Rather than just advertising products or tourism, Development Associates “builds commercial networks, identifies trade partners and helps establish communications,” Henry said.
“I do not create the package, I create the business relationships.”
With the contract approved, Henry will begin analysis work immediately. In a few weeks, the company will present Lake Tahoe’s tourism features at the International Tourismus Bourse in Berlin, one of the two major European tourism trade shows, Henry said. He also hopes to bring European tour operators to Tahoe this year in preparation of package development for the next ski season.
“Europeans aren’t really aware of Lake Tahoe. They might know the name but they couldn’t find it on a map,” he said. “Once we get a cross-section of the market to visit it can’t help but increase (tourism through word of mouth).”
With every marketing dollar assigned to other promotions, the international promotions will be paid for from an unrestricted fund.
Use of the fund was expected to receive more criticism following a controversial move in January to spend $73,700 to market the Lake Tahoe Airport.
Chuck Maas, from Lake Tahoe Accommodations, presented Henry to the board and was ecstatic with the relatively easy acceptance of the program.
“I was psyched up for refusal,” said Maas, a strong proponent of international marketing. “Something clicked … I guess it was the right people at the right time.”
Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visitors Guide | News | Diversions | Marketplace | Weather | Community
Copyright, tahoe.com. Materials contained within this site may
not be used without permission.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Thunderstorms made their way through the Lake Tahoe basin this weekend and more rain and cooler temperatures are on tap this week.