Bandwango and Travel South USA partner states launching passports to provide next-generation marketing
At the recent Travel South Ultimate Ad Challenge, southern state tourism offices gathered to hear pitches from print and digital marketing companies, including Bandwango, the Utah-based technology company. Bandwango presented a unique offering for the state tourism offices gathered – a discounted license that would enable the states to craft check-in challenge style passports built around a theme or set of attractions.
“The day of the Travel South Ad Challenge was one of the most exciting days in Bandwango history,” Monir Parikh, CEO of Bandwango, said. “We have been absolutely thrilled by the ideas these clients have brought to the table, and we’re looking forward to long partnerships with each of them. These passports are just the beginning!”
Alabama Tourism, Kentucky Tourism, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Missouri Division of Tourism, Tennessee Tourism, West Virginia Tourism, Visit North Carolina, South Carolina Tourism Department, and Visit Mississippi, are planning the most creative collection of passes I have ever seen, shared Liz Bittner, President & CEO. These unlimited passes offer the consumer an easy digital way to connect and receive info about the fascinating, quirky, beautiful, remote, one-of-a-kind places and activities that make the South like nowhere else in the world. This type of collaboration on programming offers state tourism offices to co-op regional marketing promotions and leverage their buying power with particular attention to small towns, undiscovered areas, and off-the-beaten-path places.
Three states have already launched their first passports with Bandwango:
Kentucky Tourism, Louisiana Office of Tourism, and Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.
Kentucky Tourism’s Parks Pass launched in August 2021 and features 44 state parks and 8 National Park properties. The pass is gamified and encourages all pass holders to check in to win various prizes! Passholders who check in to 5 parks will receive a koozie or pair of sunglasses, while those who check-in at all locations will receive a branded t-shirt and be entered in to win the Ultimate Park Prize package. This package includes a Kentucky State Park Overnight, a $100 State Parks Gift Card, plus an adventure prize package including a kayak, paddle, and life jacket.
Louisiana’s Office of Tourism crafted their “The Unusual is Our Usual Pass” to support their existing brand campaign by the same name. The passport features check-in points that celebrate the weird, kooky and out-there places Louisiana is best known for – including the Castle Tree and the Haunted Gothic Hanging Jail. Passholders who check in to 8 locations win a mystery prize!
Tennessee’s Department of Tourist Development is using the Bandwango platform to take their Ken Burns’ Country Music Passport | TN Vacation digital. In previous years, the initiative leveraged paper passports to guide visitors along the pathway.
West Virginia’s Department of Tourism will be utilizing Bandwango to spotlight the state’s 20+ waterfalls. Alabama is curating their state-wide attraction pass. Both states along with passes for the Missouri Division of Tourism, Visit Mississippi, Visit North Carolina, and South Carolina Tourism are expected to launch in Winter and early Spring 2022.
Bandwango (www.bandwango.com) is a technology company based out of Murray, Utah, with more than 250 Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) and other clients across the United States and Canada. Bandwango’s signature product, the Destination Experience Engine (DXE), enables clients to curate free and paid experiences into passports, trails, and marketplaces designed to deliver the best tickets, tours, and savings to locals and visitors alike. DXE is an end-to-end solution that combines anywhere, merchant and inventory management, redemption technology, white-labeled mobile web application delivery, customer service, managed accounting, and true economic impact data to provide a seamless solution to destination marketing organizations, associations, and other industry partners.
About Travel South USA
Travel South USA is America’s oldest and largest regional travel promotion organization, formed in 1965. The long-standing regional collaboration of the state tourism offices of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia provides a foundation to positively position tourism as a vital and dynamic element in the region’s economic development. In 2019, tourism ranked throughout the region as one of the top three industries, behind manufacturing and agriculture, and was responsible for $133 billion in spending by visitors, generating 1.4 million direct jobs, $30 billion in worker paychecks, and almost $16 billion in state and local taxes. Visit www.TravelSouthUSA.com for consumer information and www.TravelSouthUSA.org for travel industry information.