The Destination Marketing department leads all marketing initiatives set forth by Visit GPS and works collaboratively with the Brand, Destination Development, Partnership, Convention Sales and Tourism Development teams to ensure an effective and cohesive message across all media elements.
While the department's marketing efforts usually take a global approach, the changing travel landscape due to Covid-19 restrictions shifted Visit GPS' goals and strategy in 2020 and early 2021. Advertising, particularly in fly markets, was paused intermittently as travel restrictions shifted and programs focused heavily in the drive market as research from Destinations International, MMGY, and Expedia showed that leisure travel would be dominated by road trips within a few hundred miles from home. In addition, several new campaigns launched during this time related to COVID-19, including the Safer Together, Greater Together Pledge and the Love Local campaign supporting Coachella Valley businesses.
After February 2021, the majority of advertising programs began to resume in both drive and fly markets. The 2021 “Check In. Chill Out.” summer campaign launched in May 2021 and will continue to promote summer visitation until September.
Summer Campaign 2021
In May 2021, the CVB’s annual summer campaign began with several new and re-launched programs. The campaign includes branded television spots, partner co-op television, digital outdoor billboards, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Travelzoo, SpaFinder, Adara, Centro, Edge Media, Nativo, Pandora streaming radio, iHeart Radio, Weather.com, Palm Springs Life, co-op advertising with Visit California, and the promotion of the Summer Eats Pass which promotes local restaurants in Greater Palm Springs.
For advertising examples and more information, view our summer deck.
In February 2021, television advertising resumed in both the drive and fly markets with destination branded spots. Fly markets include with both generic and specific airline tags in each market.
The CVB’s annual Summer Chill television co-op began in May 2021. Partners include the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa Indian Wells, Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa, Hyatt Regency Indian Wells, The Omni Rancho Las Palmas, The Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage, the City of La Quinta, and Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism.
Drive market outdoor digital billboards resumed running in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco in February. This March, new locations were added in Denver and Oakland promoting nonstop routes with Southwest Airlines. Billboard advertising in the Dallas market will be added in Spring 2021 as well.
In addition, local digital billboards have been running since March 2020 promoting public service announcements and are now also supporting our Love Local campaign. Please see the COVID-19 RESPONSE & RECOVERY and LOVE LOCAL CAMPAIGN sections for more information.
Expedia is one of the top performing advertising programs driving bookings to Greater Palm Springs – in 2019, Expedia reported a $223.4 return on ad spend, meaning that for each dollar invested into the campaign, $223.40 in Expedia bookings were generated by people exposed to our advertising. While these numbers have been impacted by COVID-19, return on ad spend numbers have steadily remained over $100, demonstrating the importance of the CVB’s investment in this campaign.
Expedia was one of the few advertising programs that resumed in June 2020 and continued to run on a limited basis throughout the fall and winter of 2020 targeting the drive markets (Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Las Vegas) and nearby fly markets (San Francisco, Seattle). This campaign targeted travelers searching for road trips, weekend getaways, as well as people who have previously searched for Greater Palm Springs.
In February, the CVB increased the Expedia budget by over 50%, responding to the lifting of the Regional Stay-at-Home Order and to support destination hotels. Several new markets were added to reach new fly market destinations with nonstop routes. Current targeting includes Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Bay Area (SF, San Jose, Oakland), Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Atlanta, Boise, Eugene, Salt Lake City, and Philadelphia.
TripAdvisor is one of the largest travel resource sites and along with Expedia, was one of the campaigns that continued to run throughout 2020 on a smaller scale in an effort to influence travelers researching future stays.
TripAdvisor’s budget increased in February to support destination hotels after the lifting of the Regional Stay-at-Home Order.
Travelzoo reaches consumers searching for travel deals and provides them with overall destination information as well as CVB Partner offers at no cost or commission. The CVB’s Travelzoo campaign resumed in September 2020 with a customized destination landing page featuring Partner deals, as well as an email blast distributed to the Los Angeles and Seattle markets on November 5th.
The Spring 2021 campaign launched on April 1, 2021, featuring offers from several hotel partners, including the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Indian Wells, the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa, the Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, and more.
Visit California Co-Op Programs
In an effort to encourage in-state travel within California, Visit California has launched a series of cooperative advertising programs to maximize advertising dollars during the critical reopening phase this summer. The CVB has been participating in several of these co-op programs from September through early December, including Expedia, Adara, and Pandora. Expedia launched in August 2020, Adara launched in September 2020, and Pandora launched in October 2020.
The CVB will participate in Visit California’s upcoming co-op campaign beginning in June 2021 as well.
The CVB relaunched advertising with Edge Media in February 2021, which reaches LGBTQ travelers nationally. The program includes digital banner ads, e-blasts, social media posts, and editorial articles.
The CVB will continue to bring awareness of Greater Palm Springs as a vacation destination and drive intent to travel through the VisitGreaterPS, dineGPS and VisitCADesert social media channels in 2021. The CVB is inspiring travel by sharing content focused on Health & Wellness, Outdoor Adventure, Arts & Culture, Culinary and local happenings as campaign pillars for the remainder of 2021.
COVID-19 Response & Recovery
The CVB has created several programs since March designed for both the local community as well as visitors, including public service announcements on television and digital billboards, the “Safer Together. Greater Together.” Pledge campaign, Oasis at Home, and more.
For details on all of the CVB’s COVID-19 response efforts, please view our COVID-19 Response & Recovery page.
Safer Together, Greater Together Pledge
The Greater Palm Springs CVB launched the “Safer Together. Greater Together” Pledge in June 2020, highlighting the safety practices that local businesses and tourism partners are implementing to ensure that the destination remains healthy, positive, and inclusive for both visitors and residents. In order to increase awareness of the Pledge to the drive markets, a digital advertising campaign was launched in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange County this summer, along with a local campaign within the Coachella Valley. Drive market advertising continued until the December Stay at Home order was implemented.
More information as well as ad images can be viewed on our COVID-19 Response & Recovery page.
Love Local Campaign
In December 2020, the Love Local campaign launched, promoting local restaurants and retail establishments, as well as attractions and activities that were open under the current health and safety guidelines. This campaign aims to encourage local residents and nearby day trip consumers to support Coachella Valley businesses and shop locally during the holiday season and beyond through digital advertising, print and digital via The Desert Sun and Palm Springs Life, and local billboards.
In February, the Trailicious Pass also launched. This free, downloadable mobile pass promotes hiking trails and outdoor dining in Greater Palm Springs, allowing users to check in at designated hiking trails or redeem restaurant offers in order to be eligible to win a weekly drawing for a $50 gift card to a Greater Palm Springs restaurant. This campaign is supported with digital advertising running in the drive market, email promotion to our consumer and dining newsletter distribution, social media advertisements, and email and content advertising with the Desert Sun in March.
For more information visit the Love Local campaign page here.
While Convention Sales advertising was paused beginning in March 2020, the CVB continued to communicate with meeting planners about the destination via newsletter updates and virtual events.
On July 14, the CVB launched “gpsREBOOT: A VirtuWELL Series For You,” a new virtual series showcasing Coachella Valley health and fitness leaders and businesses. This series not only gave meeting and event planners helpful wellness tips and information to incorporate into their routines, but also provided them with inspiration to consider Greater Palm Springs for their future events.
The second gpsREBOOT series, “gpsREBOOT: Art & Sol” launched in November and focuses on arts and culture offerings in Greater Palm Springs, continuing to engage meeting planners and educate them on all that our destination has to offer.
Convention Sales advertising resumed in March 2021 in anticipation of the return of meetings and conventions. The 2021 media plan includes advertising with ASAE, CalSAE, Centro, Conference Direct, Connect, CVENT, Helms Briscoe, Northstar Meetings, PCMA, Smart Meetings, USAE, and social media via LinkedIn.
If you have any questions about these opportunities or would like to discuss further, please contact:
Dana Fury, Marketing Manager | email@example.com | 760.969.1345