How to Geo-target Tourists for a Destination Marketing Holiday Leisure Campaign

Destination Map

This past December, The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau introduced the inaugural Dickens on Centre event, a Victorian-themed Christmas celebration in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. In order to drive awareness and foot traffic to the event, we ran a geo-targeted destination marketing holiday leisure campaign to reach locations within a 5-hour drive radius of the event. A separate campaign ran concurrently and was more concentrated to geo-target popular, nearby tourist attractions during peak Thanksgiving travel times.

By geo-targeting these specific locations, we were able to not only increase awareness for the inaugural event, but we were also able to reach those consumers that had an affinity towards traveling to the northeast Florida region and who were more likely to make the trip to Dickens on Centre, increasing foot traffic for the event.

Our Solution 

To build anticipation for the event, which ran the first two weekends in December, we started running ads in October. We ran the ads on managed site placements, meaning that we handpick the website placements. Among some of the more successful managed placements were handpicked travel sites, such as and We also layered in contextual keyword targeting such as, “holiday,” “Florida travel” and “Amelia Island hotel”, so that the ads only appeared on pages that had relevant related content. These ads also used geo-targeting to reach people within a five-hour drive radius of Amelia Island.

As the event drew closer, we added in a search campaign that targeted those searching for terms related to Amelia Island Holiday events, Florida Christmas events and nearby events. As the Dickens on Centre name recognition grew, we added in a campaign to target those searching specifically for information on the event.

As the event drew closer still, we created a display campaign that geo-fenced popular, nearby tourist events and destinations. We displayed ads on mobile sites and apps to capture tourists visiting the St. Augustine and Disney areas, as well as geo-fenced the Jacksonville Boat Parade to capitalize on the high volume of local tourists during that event. These ads were initially set to run only during peak Thanksgiving travel, but performed so well that the client extended them to run through the event.

Lastly, in order to drive awareness among those who had previously shown an interest in Amelia Island, we also ran a concurrent remarketing campaign that displayed the holiday ads to visitors of the Amelia Island TDC website. 

The Results

Amelia Island TDC’s Holiday Leisure Campaign yielded the following results:

  • Remarketing: CTR 5.49%, Conversion rate of 27.18%
  • Search: CTR 3.75%, Conversion rate of 1.10%
  • Mobile Apps: CTR 1.28%, Conversion rate of 2.67%

Overall, the campaign drove 7,500 visitors to the Holiday landing page, which highlighted all of the things to do during the Dickens on Centre event. The finite geo-targeting of tourists worked well in capturing those that already had an affinity for Florida travel during the Holiday season.

Mobile app advertising can sometimes be discredited because of the high likelihood of accidental clicks, but when done the right way, it can prove to be successful in capturing the ever-increasing mobile phone audience. The conversion rates for the Dickens on Centre campaign proved the value add of mobile apps advertising.

Through our layered targeting approach, the ads for the Dickens on Centre event reached the people who were most interested, most likely to click through to the landing page, and most likely to attend the event.

See the services we can provide to increase awareness and attendance for your destination marketing leisure campaigns.

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