Lake Tahoe

Reno-Tahoe International Airport’s Plays Vital Role

NORTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. / Nev. -North Lake Tahoe continues to expand its global resonance by investing in key international markets, partnering with statewide tourism entities, the Regional Air Service Corporation (RASC) and major ski resorts and hotel properties to increase tourism in 2018-19.

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, North Lake Tahoe’s paid marketing campaign influenced $154 million in incremental visitor spending for a return on investment of $182 for every $1 spent on paid media. Earned media garnered 37.3 million impressions, with an increase of $6.78 million in dollar impact. Internationally, the region saw a 19.7 percent increase in visitor spending from 2016 to 2017.

“It’s important to keep a pulse on the quickly expanding markets in 2019, and capitalize on our tourism messages nationally and internationally,” said Andy Chapman, president and CEO of the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau. “Every year, the demographics of our travelers change, which shows that we’re gaining momentum from coast to coast and overseas.”

“It’s important to keep a pulse on the quickly expanding markets in 2019, and capitalize on our tourism messages nationally and internationally,”

North Lake Tahoe completed a SMARI study (Strategic Marketing and Research Insights), conducting 1,424 surveys in the markets of Los Angeles, New York, Austin, San Francisco and Sacramento to better understand psychographic travel trends and visitor spending in the region. The activities and attractions that ranked highest among travelers include North Lake Tahoe’s accessibility, family programs, hiking, dining and value. North Lake Tahoe is considered a year-round destination for its “superior product in both winter and summer,” compared to competitive destinations which are known primarily as either a warm weather or cold weather destination.

Reno Airport

“The SMARI research allows us to better understand the behaviors of our travelers, and how to sculpt paid and earned media strategies in the future,” said Daphne Lange, director of tourism for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association.

The North Lake Tahoe Marketing Cooperative, established in 2006, is a joint initiative funded by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (Placer County, Calif.) and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau (Washoe County, Nev.). It is designed to promote the entire North Lake Tahoe region as a single travel destination, from Tahoma on the West Shore to Sand Harbor on the East Shore.

The marketing coop works closely with Visit California, which has representation in 14 countries; and Travel Nevada, which has representation in eight countries, to disseminate content and news, and to assist with domestic and international media tours to North Lake Tahoe.

North Lake Tahoe signed a new contract with Development Counsellors International (DCI) in Canada, to support travel trade between countries. DCI works with tour operators, wholesalers, conference organizers, event management companies and travel agents to educate and encourage tourism to the destination. North Lake Tahoe also renewed contracts with Black Diamond, an international agency that promotes travel trade from the United Kingdom and Ireland; and Gate 7, which supports trade and public relations from Australia.

“The UK, Canada, Ireland and Australia are our fastest growing international markets to the US, and we want to shape traveler perspective before they arrive,” said Lange. “We’ve recognized travelers in these markets as having similar interests to the culture of North Lake Tahoe, enjoying outdoor recreation, wellness and natural beauty.”

Other emerging international markets include China and India, in which North Lake Tahoe continues to spread awareness of the region by working with key journalists in these markets. According to Trekk Soft, Indian travelers spent $15.9 billion on outbound travel in 2015, which is predicted to hit $40.7 billion by 2025. Similarly, the number of Chinese outbound travelers is predicted to grow by 8.4 percent from 2017 to 2022, when it will reach 128 million outbound trips.

North Lake Tahoe’s continued involvement with RASC encourages the strategic growth of new air service routes and airlines to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.

“Our ongoing commitment to securing new flights is vital to North Lake Tahoe’s global tourism initiative,” said Cindy Gustafson, CEO and executive director of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. “The airport works tirelessly to make the region more accessible.”

Last year, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport launched a nonstop flight to Denver via Frontier Airlines; and a nonstop to San Jose via Southwest Airlines, contributing to 4 million total passengers in 2017 and a 9.6 increase compared to 2016. This year, the airport launched a nonstop flight to Austin via Frontier Airlines, totaling 24 nonstop flight destinations.

“Tourism is a joint initiative between interested entities in the area,” said Chapman. “If we can prove the domestic and international interest in North Lake Tahoe, we’re more likely to add new air services.”

North Lake Tahoe’s major ski resorts and lodging partners-including Northstar California, Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, Hyatt Regency, Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe and Resort at Squaw Creek- leverage the marketing support of outside agencies to increase tourism year over year. North Lake Tahoe helps fund media tours and regional events, such as WinterWonderGrass and the Wanderlust Festival, to these destinations to increase the diversity of travelers, year-round.

“We are appreciative of the collaborative and research-driven work by the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau in marketing our region holistically,” said Christy Beck, general manager at The Village at Squaw Valley. “It is critical that we are aligned and working towards the same goals on tourism and community.”

About North Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is a crown jewel of the Sierra. Formed approximately two million years ago, it is the largest alpine lake in North America and the second deepest in the United States. North Lake Tahoe spans two states and boasts two dozen beaches, twelve ski resorts, hundreds of miles of biking trails, half a dozen communities, and a growing number of nationally recognized human-powered events, races and festivals. North Lake Tahoe is a 45-minute drive from the Reno Tahoe International Airport, two hours from Sacramento International Airport and just over three hours from San Francisco International Airport. Visitor information centers are located at 100 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City and 969 Tahoe Boulevard in Incline Village. For more information, visit: gotahoenorth.com.

About SMARI Insights

SMARI Insights provides individualized consultation grounded in a fully integrated marketing research service that yields actionable results – every time. Innovation and creativity are essential ingredients in developing and maintaining relevant and actionable research programs in a changing environment. As a small, full-service research consulting firm, in continually chooses techniques that work the best for the situation, considering effectiveness, accuracy in representation, limitations, value and applicability for each client.