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Your local tourism board can be a great help to your winery. Not only do they promote the city, town or county, including your winery, they also have information that can help you putting your own plans together. Invariably the local tourism board has information on who is coming to the area and why. They can usually tell you generally the numbers of people, their age, the average of what they spend, etc.

Not only can they help you, but you can help them by providing information on your guests to the tourism board. To find out more I turned to Thomas Salley, a friend of mine from the wine industry who is now the Director of the Thomas Wilkesboro, NC Tourism Development Authority. As Thomas has expertise in both wine and tourism, he is the perfect person to give benefits of working with your local tourism council.

Speaking as a tourism director, Thomas said:

It is our full-time job to attract tourists to the area and attention to our attractions. While you’re harvesting, paying taxes, handling HR/payroll, pouring wine. We’re focused on putting heads in beds and promoting your winery. We are constantly interacting with journalists, writers, influencers. Remember that one media article for your winery is worth thousands of dollars of advertising. So spending a few minutes updating your local tourism council on what’s going on is well worth your time and can pay huge dividends. You may spend 30 minutes describing your wines to a potential customer. Spare 5 minutes and give tourism professionals a call to tell them about a new release, event, weather, etc.”

Are you hosting an overnight event? Then you may be entitled to compensation. Many TDA’s or DMO’s, etc, have marketing dollars available for organizations who host events. IF you can tie hotel room stays back to these specific events then they may be able to help you promote them.

This week, take a look at the website for your local tourism council and see what they are involved in. They may be sponsoring or involved with projects you are not familiar with. If you already know and work with your tourism council, give them a call just to say hello. Then you will be top of mind if something comes up that your business can be a part of.

Check out the website for www.explorewilkesboro.com you may get some great ideas.

Next week more tourism tips from Thomas Salley.

A tip of the glass from me to you.

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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