Visit SLO CAL, in San Luis Obispo County, CA, needed to understand what kind of a future destination the county wanted to be and who could be attracted to it. Resonance was engaged to help Visit SLO CAL understand the possibilities and prioritize development options.
Our Destination Management Strategy was intended to guide the planning, product development, programming, policy and promotion of SLO CAL as a destination to live, work, play and visit.
Our process was designed to not only consult, but also engage and collaborate with industry stakeholders, visitors, residents and the community at large. We engaged 130 stakeholders, surveyed more than 1,000 previous visitors to compare them to U.S. travelers and understand the types of travelers and prospective residents who would most likely be attracted to the destination in the future. We then benchmarked SLO CAL’s destination assets and experiences—utilizing a combination of social media reviews and core performance statistics from TripAdvisor and Yelp—against a competitive set of 14 other destinations to understand strengths and weaknesses. A survey of locals followed; some 5,000 residents told us their aspirations and frustrations.
The information from the four research activities was put to use in four visioning workshops, the results of which were compiled into a Draft Recommendations Report that informed the project team and steering committee, and the Visit SLO CAL Board of Directors. Six municipal briefings were held with community leaders throughout San Luis Obispo County to gather feedback and comments.
The final Destination Management Strategy Recommendations helped define the roles and responsibilities; an action plan for implementation was included to guide Visit SLO CAL and its partners in developing their annual plans and resources necessary to move the Strategy forward to implementation.