Situation & Challenge

The recognizable giant granite rock faces, waterfalls, and sequoias of Yosemite National Park make it the sixth most visited park in the United States, drawing over five million visitors per year. Peak visitation season from May to October often results in park congestion, traffic jams, and exorbitant prices in the park. 

The small destinations that sit alongside Yosemite National Park often become overshadowed by the Yosemite’s grandeur. Particularly for domestic road trippers and international free-independent travelers locating smaller communities and experiences outside of the park is a challenge without trustworthy access to guides or information in their own language. This leads the bulk of tourism impact to stay within the busy park.

Strategy

Herrmann Global developed a strategy to combat over-tourism while filling the trip-planning content gap for domestic and international travelers. By partnering with four destinations surrounding Yosemite National Park, we created an exciting trip itinerary for travelers outside of the park. 

We sent a Visit USA Parks brand ambassador and content creator for a five-day road trip through the small communities surrounding Yosemite. She created a detailed travel itinerary and inspirational story about the unique experiences in the small communities beyond the park. Alongside the High Sierra itinerary and story, we ran four mini-campaigns for the individual communities highlighted in the road trip including, South Lake, North Lake, Tuolumne County, and Yosemite Valley. 

We translated the content into Chinese, French, and German to run a half international, half domestic campaign in the United States, China, France, Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 

Using a three-part strategy, we targeted and refined content audiences based on decision-making models of trip planning processes. We targeted the first audience with posts about the road trip and destinations. We then retargeted the segment that interacted with the posts with the inspirational story, and then retargeted the engaged users again with the itinerary. Our targeting strategy allowed us to whittle down the audience to a niche of engaged users that were most likely to book the trip.

Results

  • Total reach: 1,238,729
  • Total Impressions: 2,114,025
  • 22.6% Engagement rate for overall campaign
  • Leads identified as on the path to booking: engaged with content multiple times, and followed a call to action to visit the destination website – 11,801
  • 2019 was among the best winter/spring travel year for Sierra’s rural communities