SLO rewards visitors with Money for a Rainy Day

Courtney Meznarich

Rain or shine, San Luis Obispo is one hot destination spot. And travelers who make their way to this town enjoy plenty of things to do, indoor and out. But how does SLO attract out-of-towners when the skies aren’t so blue?

The 2016 El Nino and an unusually rainy 2017 posed the challenge for BCA: How could the City’s Tourism department still bring in visitors during the drizzly winter months to stay at SLO lodging properties? Through the team’s creativity, a concept was born: Money for a Rainy Day.

The terms of this promo required guests to book a 2-night stay at a participating lodging property in SLO between January and March, then head over to the San Luis Obispo Visitor Center to show proof of the reservation. Qualifying travelers received a free $100 Visa gift card to be spent however they chose.

Can you say tri-tip and shopping sprees?

BCA and its digital and PR partners advertised via digital ads, tradeshow promotions, earned media, social media and strategic partnerships with SLO Wine Country Association and Cal Poly (two visitor-driving organizations who were happy to help spread the word). Then travelers grabbed their umbrellas and headed for SLO.

With nearly 1,200 hotel nights booked and 500 promotions awarded, the campaign was a huge success and made for happy travelers and hoteliers.

While clouds remained, visitors came through with shinning smiles.