The new “Visit Duluth” will launch its first major marketing campaign next week
DULUTH, Minn. – With the pandemic definitely easing, mask mandates on the sidewalk and spring in the air, summer tourism should be a blockbuster for many cities across the country, especially here in Duluth, of course.
And the new sense of excitement comes as the new Visit Duluth prepares to officially unveil its first major marketing rollout next week for the biggest tourist season of the year.
With nearly seven million visitors a year, representing over $950 million in economic impact, Duluth stands out in the tourism industry. But the people behind the new Visit Duluth want to do even better.
“The way it works now is actually, I believe, more powerful than it was in the past, not saying everything was fine, but [it is] the combination that’s happening right now is really powerful,” said Daniele Villa, Visit Duluth’s new president.
Villa said he will focus on conventions, sales and hospitality center operations. He plans to look far and wide to attract big companies to host events here at his home, but he also said he’s also willing to help showcase the city’s many unique spaces and venues.
“Of course the DECC is one of them, but there are so many beautiful places around the city and region that we will work closely with each of them, restaurants, ballrooms, brewery, hotels, all wide open spaces, leisure, parks, everything will be part of our offer,” said Villa.
Meanwhile, Twin Cities marketing agency Bellmont Partners is preparing to roll out Visit Duluth’s summer tourism marketing plans to the public.
“Our strategy will be really focused on getting people excited about these very traditional classic elements of Duluth while encouraging them to experience the neighborhoods and the really great things that are found in our city so people can love it like us,” said Tricia Hobbs, senior economic developer for tourism, arts and culture.
The Hobbs post is newly created and funded by tourist tax revenue in Duluth. She acts, 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 feedback and perspectives bringing these different people around the table,” Hobbs said.
While the big marketing rollout is scheduled for April 11, Hobbs said targeted marketing and branding has already begun in markets like the Twin Cities, pitches to national travel magazines are underway and Visit Duluth now has a new logo – helping to shape the next chapter of Duluth’s brand and how it will be marketed for future success.
“We think people are going to love it and they’re going to be excited about it and we appreciate the feedback and the involvement because that’s what makes Duluth so special, it’s the people, so it’s important to us. to hear them too,” Hobbs said.
“We consider [it] a bright future we have ahead of us and I’m sure partnering with all of us together moving forward [will be] like a rocket no one can stop us and it will be a really great recovery and we will bring great business to the community,” Villa said.
During the April 11 marketing rollout, officials are also expected to announce where Visit Duluth’s corporate headquarters and visitor center will be located in Canal Park — instead of the less visible vacation center on West Superior Street.