Lodi a vacation destination? People are toasting to that, according to Visit Lodi President and CEO Nancy Beckman, who says that the Lodi wine industry continues to boost tourism in the city.
Visit Lodi has helped contribute to the surge by crafting marketing strategies aimed at putting Lodi on the map and helping visitors navigate the wine trail.
“Our recognition as Wine Region of the Year in 2015 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, coupled with Adam Mettler being recognized as winemaker of the year in 2018 has garnered outside attention,” Beckman said.
Wine is bringing in visitors, and other businesses are benefiting.
“We have seen increases in overnight stays, which has encouraged more business in Lodi, and it has led tourists to explore other regions of the town such as the WOW Museum, the Hill House, and Lodi Lake for kayaking,” Beckman said.
Beckman noted that events such as the Sandhill Crane Festival have also been a catalyst for bringing more visitors to town.
“We notice a surge in tourism centered around events, which is why we have increased our content on social media,” Beckman said.
In 2018, Visit Lodi had an estimated 1,300 posts on social media, published 12 monthly consumer newsletters, and 48 blog posts.
“Last year we spent a total of $323,684 on all forms of advertising that resulted in over 68 million impressions and over 340,000 website sessions,” Beckman said.
The expanded marketing efforts led to 13,387 requests for visitor information last year alone.
Visit Lodi has remained vigilant with its social media presence and has focused its efforts on developing relations with influencers that have the clout to increase Lodi’s reputation as a destination.
“We have hosted an influencer weekend, which generated 2.3 million impressions within 60 days after the event,” Beckman said.
Lodi has also hosted the Fall Geiger Media Tour for three years running, which has garnered over 160 articles and podcasts with a reach of 650 million consumers, according to Beckman.
“To put that into perspective, that’s $2.6 million in total earned publicity — a $22 return on investment for every $1 invested,” Beckman said.
A burgeoning tourism industry has also boosted the local economy by creating new business ventures for local citizens.
“Tourism has helped the local hospitality industry and it has led to the creation of the wedding industry,” Beckman said. “We are now seeing Lodi become a wedding destination.”