The city of New Bern, NC, with its Southern hospitality, eclectic boutiques, exquisite dining experiences, and upscale accommodations and convention services, deserves to be shared with the world. Unfortunately, the city was actually losing market share due to a depressed economy and limited resources to promote its beauty and history in a way that gave it its due. In 2009, visitor spending in Craven County dropped by 8.44 percent. With no organized branding or marketing strategy, the Convention & Visitors Bureau was losing opportunities to larger cities. New Bern needed a better way to promote tourism and create incentives to expand the economic impact to local businesses and attractions.
The professionals at High Tide Creative formulated a comprehensive marketing and media plan designed to exceed the Bureau’s goals in unique ways. Their plan included updated branding, targeted ad and direct mail campaigns, search engine positioning, a creative online discount program called “The Charm Package,” and two redesigned, bolder websites to complement the existing ad campaign and encourage more interaction between consumers and the Visitors Bureau.
In 2010, New Bern not only regained the loss of 2009, but increased visitors to Craven County. Those visitors poured $108.29 million into the local economy and supported 1,030 jobs in travel and tourism. In 2010, The New Bern Riverfront Convention Center hosted more than 252 groups and Craven County was ranked 35 in travel impact among North Carolina’s 100 counties. In addition, the creative graphics produced by High Tide for the city won numerous awards and international exposure.