The New ‘Visit Duluth’ To Roll Out First Big Marketing Campaign Next Week
DULUTH, Minn. – With the pandemic definitely easing up, mask mandates on the curb and spring in the air, summer tourism is expected to be a blockbuster for many cities across the country, especially right here in Duluth, of course.
And the fresh sense of excitement comes as the newly reconfigured Visit Duluth prepares to officially unveil its first big marketing rollout next week for the biggest tourism season of the year.
With nearly seven million visitors a year accounting for more than $950 million in economic impact, Duluth holds its own in the tourism industry. But people behind the newly revamped Visit Duluth want to do even better.
“The way it works now, it’s actually, I believe, more powerful than what it used to be in the past, not saying that nothing was wrong, but [it is] really powerful the combination that’s going on right now,” said Daniele Villa, the new president of Visit Duluth.
Villa said he will be focuses on conventions, sales and visitor center operations. He plans to look far and wide to attract large companies to host events here at home, but he said he’s also ready to help showcase the many unique spaces and venues throughout the city.
“Of course the DECC is one of them, but there are so many beautiful venues around the city and the area that we will be working closely with all of them, restaurants, ballrooms, brewery, hotels, all big spaces, leisure, parks, all will be part of our offer,” Villa said.
Meanwhile, Twin Cities marketing agency Bellmont Partners is right now getting ready to roll out Visit Duluth’s summer tourism marketing plans to the public.
“Our strategy will really be focused around getting people excited about those very traditional classic Duluth elements while also encouraging them to check out the neighborhoods and the really great things that are found throughout our city so that people can love it like we do,” said Tricia Hobbs, senior economic developer for tourism, arts and culture.
Hobbs’ position is newly created and funded through tourism tax revenue in Duluth. She’s acting, in part, as a liaison between all partners under the Visit Duluth umbrella, which includes Bellmont Partners, tourism entities, business owners, restaurants and more.
“I feel like we’re getting a lot of really good and varied input and perspective gathering those different folks around the table,” Hobbs said.
While the big marketing rollout is planned for April 11, Hobbs said targeted marketing and branding have already begun in markets like the Twin Cities, pitches to national travel magazines are underway and Visit Duluth now has a new logo — helping turn the next chapter in Duluth’s brand and how it’ll be marketed for future success.
“We do think people are going to like it and they’re going to be excited about it and we welcome the feedback and the involvement because that’s what makes Duluth so special is the people, so it’s important for us to hear from them too,” Hobbs said.
“We consider [it] a bright future that we have ahead of us and I am sure the partnership with all of us together moving forward [will be] like a rocket, nobody can stop us and will really be a great recovery and we will bring great business to the community,” Villa said.
At the April 11 marketing rollout, officials are also expected to announce where Visit Duluth’s headquarters and Visitor Center will be located in Canal Park – instead of in the less visible Holiday Center on West Superior Street.