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Marketing

Explore Fairbanks is a non-profit 501(c)(6) destination marketing and management organization. The mission of Explore Fairbanks is to be an economic driver in the Fairbanks region by marketing to potential visitors and optimizing the visitor experience. Explore Fairbanks markets Fairbanks as a year-round destination by promoting local events, attractions and activities to independent travelers, group tour operators, travel agents, meeting planners and the media as well as by shaping public policy and developing infrastructure to achieve marketing objectives.

For the current Strategic Plan for Explore Fairbanks, click here.

The five departments within Explore Fairbanks together deliver results-driven marketing and management programs. For 2022 the departments will focus their marketing strategies on the following objectives:

Communications

  • Maximize messaging to consumer markets and support direct flights through online content, advertising placements, media, direct marketing, social media and other tools.
  • Proactively maintain the website through search engine optimization, research and analysis. Identify, develop and integrate creative ideas and trends, new content, including video, as well as refine and grow existing content.
  • Strategically employ social media and continue growing Explore Fairbanks’ exposure and brand awareness through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; update and refresh Pinterest and YouTube platforms.
  • Proactively identify and bring media to Fairbanks and work with media that travel to our purview independently. Increase media database and consistently communicate with media.
  • Promote Fairbanks locally, statewide, domestically and internationally through multiple, targeted and timely press releases and other collateral adhering to Explore Fairbanks’ branding messages.
  • Strategically advertise to maximize visitation to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center (MTCVC) as the first stop for visitor information and as a resource for residents, military and their respective visiting friends and relatives.
  • Continue to review and update content and design in advertising, publications, website, quarterly newsletters and social media according to current travel trend while adhering to EF brand platform.
  • Increase positive media and public relations efforts to reach local and in-state audiences for community awareness and advocacy purposes. Expand Explore Fairbanks’ positive image and support the local area through “Tourism Builds Community” messaging.

Tourism and Meeting Sales

Tourism:

  • Continue to promote visitation to the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center as a first stop for orientation to destination.
  • Incorporate Explore Fairbanks branding pillars and messaging into travel trade communications and marketing endeavors.
  • Meet our goals and tactics in German speaking and Northern Europe and United Kingdom by working with our European Contractor to prioritize our marketing activities accordingly to promote Fairbanks as a year-round destination.
  • Set goals within the Tourism and Meeting Sales Department performance metrics to measure department success.
  • Utilize Simpleview database to proactively keep in touch with contacts, expand the database, and measure activity.
  • Continue to promote Fairbanks as a year-round destination to domestic markets.
  • Promote Gulf of Alaska cruise/land tours.
  • Work closely with the Fairbanks International Airport, airlines and tour operators to maintain existing flights and pursue new service.
  • Collaborate and partner with ATIA and other DMOs in the state to ensure Fairbanks’ inclusion in sales missions and FAMs when strategically feasible.
  • Expand participation of Explore Fairbanks’ industry partners in FAM tours.
  • Monitor traditionally core and emerging international markets to gauge future visitation and allocate marketing resources and activities accordingly.

Meetings and Conventions:

  • Support and rebuild the Golden Heart Meeting Ambassador Program.
  • Increase the number of leads/service requests sent out by the Department.
  • Support academic meetings and UAF Ambassadors.
  • Position Fairbanks as the destination for Arctic meetings.
  • Support an online culture and increase business partner engagement.
  • Continue to Communicate the value of meetings in Fairbanks to local audiences, incorporating “Tourism Works” messaging.
  • Partner with Alaska Native organizations to host local meetings and events and encourage cultural customs and traditions into local meetings and events.
  • Monitor and develop best practices in health and safety for meeting and events.

Visitor Services and Partnership Development

  • Increase awareness of the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center as the first stop for visitor information. Work to maintain our partnership with military communities in Alaska.
  • Expand the number and activities of the Golden Heart Greeter Program, the Explore Fairbanks cadre of volunteers.
  • Host educational events and online trainings such as the Interior Tourism Conference, Tourism Works for Fairbanks job fairs, and Annual Banquet spotlighting tourism-related businesses and issues.
  • Provide workforce development activities to include seminars spotlighting AlaskaHost curriculum and Explore Fairbanks–developed customer service modules high schools. Host summer and winter business showcase open houses to educate frontline staff about the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center and Explore Fairbanks partners.

Administration

  • Provide financial leadership with an emphasis on programs that directly impact hotel/motel tax collections and sustainability of the organization as well as identifying funding sources for industry recovery.
  • Collaborate with partners and other organizations to rebuild and retain the visitor industry workforce to the level that is needed in order to sustain and grow the destination.
  • Analyze, coordinate/participate in discussions about, and achieve consensus with, the Fairbanks visitor industry and community partners regarding development and  infrastructure projects that affect or enhance the industry.
  • Provide leadership, facilitate discussions, and strive for collaboration on public policy and advocacy issues that impact the visitor industry.
  • Assure “best practices” for Explore Fairbanks as a professional association in the destination marketing and management arena.
  • Institutionalize and expand Explore Fairbanks’ positive image with its partnership and in the community through outreach and involvement and a consistent communications plan which celebrates the achievements and importance of Explore Fairbanks as well as the regional and state tourism industry.
  • Ensure that the organization is leading the way in the local visitor industry in promoting and fostering an atmosphere of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
  • Actively participate in local, statewide and national tourism and related industry efforts.