Annapolis partners with DiscoverAmerica.com

The Baltimore Sun

Increased online marketing efforts are leading Annapolis tourism officials to expect an influx of international travelers this spring.

The city's tourism department recently partnered with the U.S. Travel Association's newly created Web site, DiscoverAmerica.com, to highlight Annapolis' unique features for international travelers.

In particular, Annapolis is targeting travelers from Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. The four countries are "primary feeder markets into the U.S.," said Catalina Burke, marketing director of the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau.

The bureau launched its account with DiscoverA merica.com in November for a flat fee of $12,500, purchasing a Web site translated for each of its four target countries.

Later this month, the bureau will launch its "Annapolis in Pink" campaign on the Web site, which encourages international travelers whose main destination is the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, to add Annapolis to their itinerary.

The Web site spotlights Annapolis' popular water activities and sailing culture, historic mansions and maritime villages, highly rated downtown restaurants and boutiques, and family-oriented activities, such a trip to Sandy Point State Park.

Bureau president Connie Del Signore said the bureau has largely reduced print advertising to focus on DiscoverAmerica.com, its primary online medium.

"We are really swapping some of our traditional marketing for increased international marketing," Del Signore said.

"There's just so much more of an opportunity to get your message out, to have it be credible and reach a larger audience."

Marketing with DiscoverAmerica.com allows the conference and visitors bureau to piggyback off of the U.S. Travel Association's advertising efforts, saving the bureau money in the long run, Burke said.

DiscoverAmerica.com, the first official U.S. tourism Web site, began in May and highlights thousands of popular destinations within U.S. states and territories for international travelers.

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