Marketing an Outdoor Escape

Join the Marketing Team with the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau as they discuss how their organization markets their destination as an escape from the big cities.

What drives leisure travelers to the Pocono Mountains, and where do they typically come from?

The Pocono Mountains are an all-season destination, offering relaxation and fun for all ages. The region is known for its luxurious resorts, outdoor adventure, and charming, historic small towns. It is home to enormous indoor waterparks, six ski mountains, hiking and biking trails galore, rivers and lakes to enjoy, and the tallest waterfall in Pennsylvania. All are welcome in the Poconos, from families to solo travelers to young couples to retirees; there is something for everyone here. Although visitors from around the world come to the Poconos, we are typically a drive-to destination, with many guests coming from the Philadelphia and New York metropolitan areas. 

What attracts meeting groups and conventions to the Pocono Mountains compared to other destinations? 

Meeting attendees in the Pocono Mountains will find a wide variety of experiences available that are right on the doorstep or just a short drive away from our renowned event venues. The region’s 2,400 square miles of natural beauty provide ample opportunities for outdoor adventure, including legendary golf, thrilling whitewater rafting in the summer, and skiing and snowboarding in the winter, while picturesque small towns offer one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, breweries, wineries, and more. Many meeting attendees bring their families along so the kids can enjoy the incredible waterparks and many family-friendly activities in the area.

Why did your organization look for a virtual tour solution? 

We aim to stay on top of trends and market our destination using the most innovative and effective tools. We are noticing increasingly that guests want to see an immersive, multi-angle representation of a destination or property, and we wanted to find a way to meet that need. We spend much time face-to-face with planners, showcasing the properties and experiences our region offers. The virtual tours offered through Threshold 360 allow our guests to virtually walk around properties without leaving their homes or office. It is real and authentic, and shows the entirety of the space so they can make an informed decision as to whether or not to book.

Do you have partners who request virtual tours?

Many of our members are not aware of this service. However, when we offer it to them, they usually respond with excitement. It is great to be able to offer our members a service that is free to them that they can use to market their own products. It also enhances their listing on our website, making it more engaging.

What features that Threshold 360 offers does your organization utilize the most to market and sell your destination? Is this different than what you originally intended to use Threshold 360 for?

We intended to use Threshold 360 to promote meeting and convention spaces, and we continue doing that. However, we have expanded the tours to include outdoor recreation areas such as hiking trails and boat access points. We have even completed a capture with a paintball member. This was not something we had initially planned, but it is great to show guests more of what our area offers in terms of leisure. Hiking can be intimidating to some guests, so giving them a feel of what a hiking trail actually looks like may help encourage them to participate in the activity.

As part of our focus on promoting outdoor spaces, we utilized Threshold 360s AdTours to promote the Lackawaxen River Trail campaign. The embedded virtual tours make our messages stand out among the noise. The ads capture a user’s attention and are engaging. Unlike a standard banner ad, the animation and 360 views have increased traffic to our website.