October Tourism Council Meeting

Woodstock Cafe
117 S. Main St.
Woodstock, Virginia 22664

Shenandoah County
Tourism Council Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Woodstock Cafe
Woodstock, Virginia 22664
12:00 p.m.

Members Present:  Bob Luce, Amber Dennison, Coe Sherrard, Dan Harshman, Michelle Bixler, Jenna French,  Bill Schumaker, Katie Mercer.

Media Present:  Lewis Milholland, Northern Virginia Daily

Guests Present:  Melissa Price, Morgan Brill, Jessica Sager, Kary Haun, Stephanie Zayhowski,

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order by Jenna French at 12:03 pm and a quorum was established. 

Approval of Minutes from Tuesday September 19, 2017 Coe Moved to accept the Minutes and Dan Seconded. All approved.

Financial Report for September 2017 Financial reports were handed out and explained by Ms. French, Dan made a motion to approve them and Coe seconded.

Director’s Report:

  • Google Analytics
    1. Primary age group = 55-64 followed by 65+ and 45-54
    2. Top interest groups = food & wine, news junkies, media & entertainment lovers, arts & entertainment
    3. Top countries: US, Canada, UK,
    4. Top States: VA, DC, NC, MD, WV, TN
    5. Top page = 6 must visit towns in Shenandoah County
    6. Jack Rabbit Booking Engine- 2188 referrals since January with a good mix between Cabins, Hotels and B&Bs. Less interest in campgrounds                                                                                                                                                                  129 have used the book direct button on our website to confirm their stay.  Most go to the partner website to book.  Top booked establishments = mix of hotels and B&Bs.    (Days Inn and River Bluff B&B = top two)
    7. Roots Rated Campaign                                                                                                                                                                  $0.05 CPC, $2.93 CPM, 5.7% CTR
  • Leads “Stats Sheet” was handed out during the meeting and the following was highlighted:
    1. Top 5 Pages Viewed in September: 6 Must Visit Towns, Home, Fall Foliage Hikes, Events, Hops & Hooves, Scenic Roads
    2. Top 5 Referral Sites in September: Roots Rated, Facebook, Google, Virginia.org Fall Hikes, Bing.

Old Business:

  • Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnership

- MBPR! coming October 30-31.

- Presentation at SVP Fall Forum 10/20

- Virginia.org advertising

  • Shenandoah Spirits Trail

- reschedule gathering for January 25 at Back Room Brewery

- DC Cooking Show

-  Print Advertising in Savor VA, Virginia.org, Edible Blue Ridge, Craft Beer Mag, BRO

  • Visitor Guide
    1. Town pages are being redesigned to be more colorful, with a high visual impact (less wordy) to show character of towns and highlight county assets like Art, Agriculture, history, recreation, scenic drives etc.
    2. Currently $9350 in ads have been purchased. Up from last time.
  • Rev-Up Marketing is complete and was a success. Applications for businesses to get prize money are due tomorrow.
  • World War I & II brochure content complete and sent to printers.

New Business:

  • Farm to Fork
    1. Did not receive the grants to fund the Farm to Fork event
    2. Currently looking in to hiring someone to plan the event for March 2018. If not, then will begin the planning for March 2019 event
  • SEO
    1. Website down for a week caused some problems for our visibility and getting VG requests
    2. The SEO company, Valley Inbound stepped in and created a Landing page during the down time to allow potential visitors to still request a visitor guide
    3. Valley Inbound is also creating a system of identifying “Accredited Lodging” places that have endorsement or approval from Shenandoah County Tourism.
  • Meeting Location and Time
    1. Question was raised about changing or rotating the meeting place or time. The Council discussed and decided to try scheduling 1 year out to go to a different location (including Bryce) with the individual towns to help coordinate locations for Tourism council meetings.
    2. Concerns about the planning and scheduling of the meetings, and the drive time for places that are on far ends of the county were raised.
  • November Meeting- the November meeting would fall on the week of the Thanksgiving Holiday and Ms. French noted that the November meetings are usually cancelled as they typically fall during the week of the VA-1 Summit. The council Agreed to skip this November’s meeting.
  • Farm to Fork Fondo May 18-19 2018
  • National Tourism Week- The council is considering using National Tourism Week in the Spring to give FAM tours to hotel staff, chambers, shop owners, wait staff, and the general public to help ain knowledge of our local assets.

Adjournment: 

Having no further business to discuss, the Shenandoah County Tourism Council adjourned at 1:06 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,
Kary Haun,
PR & Marketing Assistant, Shenandoah County Tourism