Massachusetts Issues Travel RFP

Massachusetts Issues Travel RFP

Massachusetts is seeking a PR firm that can help attract more tourists to the region from UK, Ireland and France. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Marketing Partnership/Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MMP/MOTT) are seeking the services of multiple travel marketing vendors to develop and implement public relations, trade relations, and consumer marketing campaigns that position Massachusetts as a preferred tourist destination in each of the following three countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • France

A separate award will be made for United Kingdom, Ireland, and France. Bidders wishing to submit proposals for more than one country must submit a separate proposal for each country and must meet all the RFR eligibility requirements for each proposal.   MOTT is looking for vendors that will significantly increase the volume of travelers to Massachusetts from each country with highly cost-effective and results-driven programs.  Bidders must clearly illustrate how they will generate programs with a significant return on investment for Massachusetts.
Marketing Services

The Contractor for each specific country will position Massachusetts as a preferred tourist destination by representing Massachusetts at trade and consumer shows/marketplaces; targeting consumer and trade press; and establishing relationships and collaborative programs with tour operators, travel agents, and airlines.

Marketing Programs

Contractor’s responsibilities will include:

  1. Annual Strategic Plan and Budget:
    Develop an annual strategy and budget and, subject to MMP/MOTT’s decision to renew the contract, initial planning for the following fiscal year. The annual plan will include an analysis of economic conditions, competitive environment, marketing challenges and opportunities, and recommendations on target markets and audiences, messages, promotional and marketing communications strategies, tactics, budget, and timelines.
  2. Travel Trade Activities:
    • Develop and maintain strong, effective relationships with the tour operators, travel agencies, airlines, corporate and incentive buyers, wholesalers, consolidators, online travel agencies and other key distribution alliances.
    • Provide key tour operators with itinerary planning, staff familiarization trips, staff
    • reservation training, and assisting with brochure production, general product selection, and product assistance.
    • Develop, strengthen, and maintain relationships with the MICE market tour operators and providers enhancing the visibility, accessibility and diversity of the Massachusetts meetings market.
    • Assist and partner the travel trade in developing new and innovative programs to MA to increase brand and destination awareness.
    • On request, attend annual special events or trade shows, as directed by MOTT including, but not limited to, IPW, Massachusetts Conference on Travel & Tourism, and the Discover New England Tourism Summit.
    • Attend in-market key travel industry events as outlined in the marketing plan and as they arise. This includes travel industry events for training, media, event sponsorships, and other events.
    • Develop and coordinate a minimum of one annual sales mission in market.  This includes event planning, coordinating travel, and the appointment setting with key travel partners in market.
    • Ensure that Massachusetts is well represented in travel trade programs, brochures, and communications.
    • Alert MOTT to cooperative marketing opportunities with key industry partners and assist in the coordination and execution of those opportunities.
    • Assist in the participation, development, and management of cooperative training programs, workshops, roadshows, and other creative and innovative programs as budget allows. Make presentations as needed.
    • Develop niche marketing opportunities and alternative distribution channels for a range of niche and specialist travel experiences.
    • Distribute promotional literature and marketing collateral to travel trade as needed.
  3. Public Relations Activities
    • Develop a public relations strategy and budget to increase awareness of Massachusetts to consumers through a variety of mediums including print, TV, broadcast, social, digital.
    • Develop and maintain strong relationships with leading consumer and travel trade media.
    • Develop quarterly (translated) press releases with relevant and timely content on Massachusetts news to consumer and trade media.
    • Proactively pursue positive stories and respond to inquiries – targeting all forms of media that is appropriate for MOTT.
    • Coordinate and execute all aspects of familiarization trips for consumer and trade press and tour operators and travel agents; targeting qualified consumer press; soliciting qualified journalists to visit Massachusetts and negotiating with the airlines to obtain complimentary or discounted tickets for participating journalists.
  4. Digital Strategy
    • Develop and advise on a digital strategy and budget to increase awareness of Massachusetts to consumers through the use of social media and other digital mediums
    • Manage content and operational functions including ISP of existing in-country consumer websites (visitmass.fr, www.massholiday.co.uk, www.massholiday.ie)
    • Work with MOTT on content development for in-country microsites and execute website content updates as required. Updating and enhancing content is to be in conjunction with strategic communication themes and priorities for all microsites.
  5. Consumer Marketing
    • As budget allows, coordinate MOTT’s participation in select consumer travel shows and travel trade shows. Contractor should prioritize both categories according to the budget allocation.
    • Manage consumer and travel trade fulfillment, including a dedicated Massachusetts phone line.

Proposal due by May 9, 2017 to:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Travel and Tourism
10 Park Plaza, Suite 4510
Boston, MA 02116

Leading travel PR firms include Lou Hammond, Coyne PR and 5WPR.

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