With the nation’s travel system breaking down and costing the travel and tourism industry billions of dollars, the Travel Industry Association (TIA) was looking for a communications campaign to capture the attention of policymakers in Washington. TIA wanted to build momentum behind legislation to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, improve stringent travel regulations that have been reducing domestic and foreign travel, and market the United States abroad as a tourist destination.
Navigators Global developed a high-profile advertising and public relations campaign that was tied to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. We ran full-page newspaper ads in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Orlando, Florida that featured local tourism icons to urge the presidential candidates to offer real solutions to the problems facing America’s travel and tourism industry. The final ad in our three-part series included a report card that allowed readers to grade each presidential candidate on how they responded to important travel issues. Las Vegas and Orlando were selected as target markets for our campaign because of their political importance to the presidential race and because the local economy of each city is heavily dependent on travel and tourism. In addition to the print ads, we conducted polling in both media markets on the presidential campaign and voters’ perceptions on travel and tourism issues and released the data to the media.
Our campaign elevated TIA’s legislative agenda at the national level by generating voter interest and media coverage in two of the most important presidential battlegrounds of the 2008 election. Navigators Global also succeeded in putting TIA’s issues on the radar screen of the national media and generated stories in publications that are widely read by lawmakers and their staffs in the nation’s capital.