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May 06, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                               CONTACT:
May 6, 2019                                                                             Joan Garland, 361-749-5919 ext. 811

Thinking Outside of the Marketing Box
Mobile Visitor Center Provides High Impact Strategic Marketing Tool
for Destination Port Aransas
(Port Aransas, TX)  When you consider the high cost of advertising and securing consumer impressions to brand your destination, then the creative approach the Port Aransas/Mustang Island Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce is taking to extend its brand message and drive visitor conversion is a big success. The Tourism Bureau Board of Directors approved in early 2018 the creative marketing strategy of utilizing a full-size mobile RV that would be wrapped in images of Port A and messaging to visit Port Aransas. The RV, or as it is strategically called, the Mobile Visitor Center (MVC), operates as a mobile visitor center to promote everything Port A.
The MVC makes stops and attends large festivals and special events in the tourism bureau’s key Texas feeder markets including Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Waco, and the Dallas/Fort Worth area. “It acts like a pop-up visitor center in that our team and partners who join us, distribute information about Port A businesses, lodging, fishing, restaurants, shopping, and the many amazing experiences in Port A,” said Jeff Hentz, President and CEO of the Port Aransas/Mustang Island Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce. “The MVC team not only distributes thousands of pieces of Port A marketing material, but also signs consumers up for the bureau email database and our new Beach Nation Port A newsletter. With the loss of tourism marketing funds due to Hurricane Harvey and lodging closings, this is how we overcome our marketing dollars disadvantage with competing destinations. We can’t outspend our competition today, but this is how we out-think and hustle our competition to keep and grow our customer base.”
The MVC is driven by a full-time Texas-based team and is parked in the central Texas area so it can travel to the top feeder markets quickly and also be in close range of high traffic impression roadways.
Since launching its partnership with the promotional vehicle marketing company, Event Strategic of Florida in April 2018, the MVC has met and exceeded expectations with over 62 events, 275 event days, 1.2 million consumer event impressions, thousands of email sign-ups, major uptick in Facebook followers, and the distribution of tens of thousands of Port A destination and businesses marketing collateral.
These numbers do not take into account the millions of impressions and consumer eyeballs that see the MVC on the road while it travels to various consumer festivals and special events around Texas. “Collectively, this marketing tool produces tremendous value for our promotional advertising dollar, and it is a critical component of our Texas integrated marketing campaign,” said Mr. Hentz. “This strategy has no doubt been the catalyst to help us bring back visitors to Port A quicker and in larger numbers than what other destinations realize after the impact of a direct hit category 4 hurricane. As a bureau and as a destination, I’m proud that we were back in the face of our consumers with the message ‘We’re Open for Fun’ only seven months after this natural disaster stopped us in our tracks.”
On non-event/festival days, the MVC is re-purposed as a mobile billboard that drives along high-traffic roadways that provide massive consumer impressions. “It would be equivalent to 100-200 billboards a day in advertising dollars and the number of people exposed to our message,” said Mr. Hentz. “The MVC has our brand on all four sides with a call to action – Visit Port Aransas.com and our social media tags. The average cost of a billboard in a high-traffic corridor would be $5,000 -$8,000 a month for one billboard. Our mobile billboard provides great value and tremendous savings for the number of consumer impressions we receive each month. Many Port A Chamber of Commerce and tourism business members have taken advantage of the opportunity to promote their business and products on the MVC.             
The MVC has embarked on its second season of promoting everything “Visit Port A” and already has been invited to major high traffic events including the San Antonio Boat Show, SXSW, Austin City Limits Festival, Salsa Fest, and dozens of upcoming Texas festivals, concerts, and sporting events. Just in the past few weeks, the MVC has been front and center for the Dallas Travel Show (20,000 attendance), Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade (75,000 attendance) and the international Earth X show in Dallas (110,000 attendance).
The bureau also uses the MVC as a meeting venue to host prospective group leaders, event planners and many potential sponsors and partners that would drive business to Port A. The MVC for Port A tourism has been a huge success, and one that will continue to provide tremendous value and ROI for our advertising/promotional investment.
Discover America’s Favorite Beach Town – Port Aransas & Mustang Island. For listings of island accommodations, restaurants, shopping and activities, visit visitportaransas.com.
403 W. Cotter l Port Aransas, Texas 78373 l 361-749-5919