Saturday, December 5, 2020

New Tourism Master Plan Outlines City’s Strategies to Attract Visitors

Recognizing the importance of visitors to the city’s economy, Southlake City Council approved the updated Tourism Master Plan May 2. This new plan is a component of the Southlake 2035 Comprehensive Plan—an ongoing update of the 2030 version. Originally developed in 2011 in conjunction with the City’s Economic Development Department, the Tourism Division has grown and changed dramatically, resulting in the decision to develop two individual plans. The Community Enhancement and Development Corporation (CEDC) spearheaded the updated Economic Development Master Plan, and it was adopted by City Council in October 2016.

The Economic Development and Tourism Master Plans still go hand-in-hand, and the two divisions will work together on many initiatives. Goals and objectives developed and approved by the CEDC have been vital in identifying focus areas for both plans. As a result, the 92-page Tourism Master Plan outlines four primary strategies to attract visitors to the City:

  • The Tourism Market: Focuses on evaluating Southlake’s mix of assets, as well as identifying key target markets and visitor segments that are essential for a healthy tourism economy. Tourism market recommendations target collecting market research and data that will help us to determine whether the City will satisfy the needs and experiences visitors are looking for.
  • Visitor Acquisition: This section focuses on creating awareness, interest and conversion. Through authentic storytelling and creative visual experiences, Southlake will set itself apart from other destinations and make prospective visitors into long-time customers. We will accomplish this through creative messaging that tells the Southlake story while featuring City assets.
  • Visitor Retention: Our emphasis is not only attracting visitors, but on building strategies to ensure their satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. Visitor retention recommendations will help to enhance our visitors’ experience that will contribute to high customer satisfaction, return visitation and referrals.
  • Tourism Economic Impact and Return on Investment: Focuses on the impacts visitors have to the City for residents and the business community. Competition is growing exponentially, and destinations that actively invite travelers by showcasing their unique amenities will increase their market share. They will also garner a larger portion of tax revenues from increased traveler spending which benefits not only businesses but our residents as well.

According to Jill Lind, senior marketing manager for the Tourism Division, Southlake has the opportunity to build on its strong reputation, location in the metroplex, new hotels, and numerous assets to continue to position itself well into the future as a premier destination for businesses, tourists, shoppers, and professionals from within the region and beyond.

“This updated plan provides a well-defined road map for tourism in Southlake and where we want to take it. The ability to connect with and influence visitors, who have more options than ever, has never been more important than now,” explains Lind, who became Southlake’s first tourism coordinator in 2009. “The recommendations made, following a great deal of research, have huge merit and will provide an enhanced destination experience for visitors, as well as benefits to our residents and businesses.”

The Tourism Master Plan was approved just in time for National Travel and Tourism Week May 7-13, which is an annual observance that features nationwide events to recognize the value and benefits provide by tourism. Tying into this year’s theme, Faces of Travel, the City of Southlake is celebrating tourism with contests, giveaways and cool infographics – click here to find out more or visit social media channels for @VisitSouthlakeTexas.

For more information, contact Jill Lind at 817-748-8652 or go to www.VisitSouthlakeTexas.com.