Breckenridge Tourism Office expects to see a strong winter tourism season
The Breckenridge Tourism Office gave a mix of residents, business owners and visitors an update on its plans and expectations for the winter tourism season at a webinar Nov. 10.
Tourism office Community Affairs & Destination Management Director Tessa Breder talked about how the tourism office is redesigning its website, OneBreckenridge.com, to make it more user friendly, a project that is expected to be complete by the end of November. She also talked about a new guest service experiential training program the tourism office is kicking off this year: Breck 101.
Breck 101 will run from Dec. 5-18, providing guest service workers — such as bartenders, servers, retail clerks and front desk folks — free opportunities to partake in activities visitors come to Breckenridge to do.
“If it’s your job to speak to guests all day, we want you to participate,” Breder said. “… We know these are the things you’re asked on the job every single day, and we want you to be able to answer those questions from experience and really understand all of our local business offerings.”
Those interested in participating as a student or business vendor for the program can register at OneBreckenridge.com.
Brett Howard, chief marketing officer for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, talked about the organization’s marketing strategies, which he said are always focused on out-of-state guests, prioritizing four-plus night stays. He called this the office’s paid, promotional media.
Since the pandemic started, the tourism office is now able to negotiate contracts with media vendors that allow it to make changes to its promotions within 24 to 78 hours — something that was needed during the pandemic, Howard said.
“We learned a whole lot during the pandemic that actually benefited us in the long run,” Howard said.
Another strategy the tourism office uses is IP-based targeting, which gives it the ability to track cellphones when in town.
“What we’ve done is put multiple points of interest around the town of Breckenridge … where we’d like to see people moving around and showing up in our destinations,” Howard said. “… This has gotten much more sophisticated and this isn’t uber Big Brother. … We do not see every single cell that comes into Breckenridge, but we do see a good majority, which gives us a good sample size.”
Howard said he is also feeling good that Breckenridge will see the return of some of its classic winter events. Highlighted events returning this year include:
- Lighting of Breckenridge and Race of the Santas: Dec. 4
- Ullr Fest: Dec. 9-12
- International Snow Sculpture Champions: Jan. 24 to Feb. 2
Breckenridge Tourism Office President and CEO Lucy Kay said travel marketing company MMGY Global “rightly predicted” a massive leisure bounce back nationally, which many tourism destinations saw this summer. She said 81% of travelers are placing more importance on booking a vacation in the next 12 months, which was the basis for some of MMGY’s predictions.
Kay added that MMGY predicted surging demand from international travel and business groups at the start of 2022 and predicted next year will be strong overall for travel.
To help boost that travel, United Airlines is adding a second daily direct flight from London to Denver, among other increases in flights across all airlines, Kay said. She said it will be interesting to see how the airlines will be able to manage staffing with increased demand.
Kay also presented some data from Destination Analysts, a company that surveys 1,200 American travelers every week, saying they provide good demographic information on folks looking to change their lifestyles. She said one-third of millennial travelers are considering a major change in lifestyle, such as leaving their jobs, and 60% of millennials and younger are interested in trying a “digital, nomad lifestyle,” which Kay said has already been going on.
Lastly, Kay said Destination Analysts predicted almost 84% of American travelers already have something booked in the next year.
Also at the meeting, Vail Resorts spokesperson Sara Lococo explained the details of the resorts’ operations this season, and Assistant Town Manager Shannon Haynes spoke about the new parking structure and its winter operations.
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