The city of Charlotte is one of the country’s fastest-growing cities and has become a leading tourist stop in the South. However, when it comes to the holidays, the Queen City is seen more as a point of departure, not the destination. When the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority asked us to make this year the city’s biggest tourism holiday yet, we looked at the data and discovered some key statistics. First, six times as many Millennials were moving to Charlotte as other large cities. Additionally, this rapidly growing demographic is one that is over the hustle of the holidays as they try to balance jobs and young families, and are looking for the space to start new traditions. And finally, Charlotte is a unique travel destination in that 50% of its visitors come to visit their friends and relatives. In looking at this data all together, it was clear the campaign’s goal would not just be to attract out-of-town visitors but encourage locals to stay put and invite their friends and family to join them this holiday season.
Understanding that by keeping locals in Charlotte would also mean an increase in visiting friends and family, we pitched CRVA on a travel campaign that asked people NOT to travel, called “The Art of Host-pitality.” Targeting locals, we crafted video, display and social ads that inspired Millennials to become a host this holiday season and invite their friends and family to celebrate in Charlotte. Additionally, to spread the word that the Queen City was hosting the holidays, we targeted Boomers in key markets around Charlotte with a spin-off “The Art of Guest-pitality” campaign, showcasing Charlotte as a holiday destination that makes it easy for them to enjoy the gift of being a guest.
Tapping in local celebrities, social media influencers and more, our campaign inspired and educated potential hosts and guests alike, driving hotel bookings in Charlotte, increasing engagement with local businesses and boosting overall tourism revenue over the holiday season – helping Charlotte become the destination where the holidays come together.