In a state that get a substantial amount of driving visitors, one way to approach visitor strategy is by considering how much time they’ve built into their trips to explore. I’d put them into three categories. 1) There are those who want to make the entire trip about exploring the State’s attractions — let’s call them the Destination Drivers. 2) There are those who are heading to visit a friend/family member or attend a conference or business meeting and are willing to build in a half-day or full day for some attraction they’ve been meaning to get to (golf, gaming, amusement park, etc) — The Day Trippers. 3) And there those with a pretty tight time schedule who have simply built in a small cushion into their itinerary to grab something to eat and use the bathroom — The Pit Stoppers.
To get people to make an entire trip to visit your attraction(s) or even build in an extra day to visit, you’ll need to hook them well in advance during the planning stage. Today, I want to focus on that third category: The Pit Stoppers. The object here should be to get visitors who might normally stop at a gas station connected to the motorway to drive an extra mile or three into the town and to get those who are willing to drive into town to stay an extra hour. Both can be accomplished with some effective interstate signage (“Free and clean restrooms downtown”, “The State’s best-preserved historic center”, “The State’s largest free playground.”) and billboards (“try the region’s award-winning ice cream”) and some destination enhancement (a refurbished historic center with well-targeted shops and activities). You know, good old fashioned Wall Drug travel marketing and a clean and presentable destination.