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Since the November 2012 launch of the redesigned, developed by simpleview, average time spent at the site tripled to 8 minutes per user session.

tions along the modern streetcar route. The platform employs geo-location, click-to-call and color codes to assist users. Rich in content, the website allows online visitors to learn more about historic buildings or heritage destinations by touching a link which leads to descriptive content. In the case of historic buildings, another link also leads to dated and numbered historical photos from Arizona Historical Society archives. “ makes people more aware of the historic environment they experience in their everyday life,” said Vanessa Bechtol, executive director of the Santa Cruz alliance. “This website is a unique representation of our region’s living traditions.” Jonathan Mabry, historic preservation officer of the Tucson Historic Preservation Office, said, “ is a model for how to use technology to increase public awareness of our historic streetscapes.” According to Cooper, research indicates that approximately 71 percent of international travelers to the United States are interested in cultural heritage.

These tourists stay longer, book earlier and spend, on average, $994 per trip.

With more than 50 percent of Americans now owning smartphones, executing a strong mobile marketing strategy is critical for growing this destination’s market share of tourism dollars. –

Allison Cooper, VP of Marketing Visit Tucson

Potential National Heritage Designation The 10-year-old alliance is a regional nonprofit that promotes heritage destinations and businesses tied to the greater Santa Cruz River watershed. The alliance is the local coordinating entity that supports the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Act – legislation to designate the watershed area as a National Heritage Area, which would help boost tourism travel to Tucson and Southern Arizona. National Heritage Areas are designated by Congress and account for $12.9 billion in economic activity, 148,000 jobs and $12 billion in tax revenue each year, Bechtol said. “There already are 49 National Heritage Areas around the country. This is a great opportunity for Tucson to attract tourist dollars as well as celebrate our community’s shared heritage.” Two-for-One E-Book The 10th anniversary of the Tucson Attractions Passport – known as the Book of Fun – coincided with increased continued on page 94 >>> Summer 2013 > > > BizTucson 93

Summer 2013 tourism  

A Special Report from BizTucson magazine.

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