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This regional tourist destination is targeting road-trip visitors from St. Louis

The intended markets for the campaign include St. Louis, Nashville, Little Rock, Birmingham, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Chicago
Credit: SLBJ

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis' official destination marketing arm has a strategy underway to bring back more visitors to the Bluff City.

While air travel is expected to continue to be limited during the pandemic, families are more likely to drive on vacation. Memphis Tourism’s research found more travelers will look to take regional trips within 350 miles of their home.

In an effort to attract the drive market, Memphis Tourism recently launched its "Come to Memphis" marketing campaign. President Kevin Kane said the agency’s $500,000 strategic paid media digital campaign is focused on attracting visitors who live within 600 miles of Memphis.

The intended markets for the campaign include St. Louis, which is about a 4-hour, under 300-mile drive from Memphis, as well as Nashville, Little Rock, Birmingham, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Chicago.

Based on data from Memphis Tourism’s geo-tracking technology partners, Arrivalist and AirSage, visitors from the eight targeted markets made up a combined 4.2 million visitors to Memphis in 2019. That represented one-third of Memphis’ record breaking 12.4 million visitors last year. 

“The research shows that these are the people who are going to take weekend getaways to Memphis, so we picked the markets that are good feeder markets for us and markets that are easy proximity to Memphis,” Kane said. “We are reopened, and we’re trying to get leisure travelers to drive here again.” 

Memphis Tourism prioritized these markets based not only on the high volume of visitation but on another key indicator discovered by its research. 

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