Hispanics and Latinos have played a major role in driving US population growth over the past decade, and the dramatic shift has also impacted Pennsylvania, where the Latino and Hispanic population has doubled since 2010, according to the PEW Research Center.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Visit Hershey & Harrisburg is trying to attract tourists from diverse backgrounds in the US, specifically Spanish speakers, to consider Dauphin County for their vacations.
As part of the tourism organization’s ongoing efforts to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in its marketing efforts, it also collaborated with Harrisburg-based Latino Connection to understand how to best connect with the Latino community.
Both organizations recently developed a marketing outreach program driven by in-person outreach. And they’re taking their message on the road with bilingual teams to have extended conversations with people in Latino communities to garner information about what Latinos look for in travel destinations.
During National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), the bilingual events team will facilitate 15 in-person, experiential marketing activations covering more than 2,000 miles in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, and Washington, DC The tour includes traveling fairs, festivals, and community events to promote Hershey as a destination.
“We couldn’t be prouder to bring this new initiative to life during National Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Visit Hershey & Harrisburg President & CEO Mary Smith. “VHH is committed to investing in programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our outreach and experiences that highlight the region’s diverse tourism assets.”
“Partnerships, like the one we have forged with Latino Connection, are the cornerstone to helping us to better understand the Latino traveler and to identify the region’s assets that best suit their travel trends,” Smith continued.
The collaboration is supported by Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company (HE&R), an entertainment and hospitality company that owns and operates or supports many area attractions, including Hersheypark.
George Fernandez, chief executive officer of Latino Connection, a Harrisburg-based marketing and communication firm, explained the importance of the program driving economic impact through tourism in Dauphin County.
“Overall, I think it’s extremely imperative for diversity, inequity, and inclusion, and for our local neighbors to understand that we live in a very touristy region. And that creates jobs and opportunities that overall helps improve the lives of not only our friends and neighbors but the overall region,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez said while the Latino collaborative initiative is focused on that demographic, it will connect with travelers of all races and ethnicities through social media.
“We’ve invested into advertising dollars on Facebook and Instagram because we learned Latino’s spends 90 more minutes on digital and social media more than any other demographic group across the US. So those are the channels where we hosted this kind of program on,” said Fernandez.
For additional details, visit VHH and Latino Initiative Landing Page website for tailored for interests of Hispanic and Latino visitors titled Bienvenito, which means welcome.
Hispanic Heritage Festival returns to Harrisburg with food, games, music and more