Austin, Texas Issues Cultural Tourism Marketing RFP

Austin, Texas Issues Cultural Tourism Marketing RFP

The City of Austin (City) seeks consulting services for a single, full-service advertising agency (Agency), preferably with experience in cultural or heritage tourism marketing, to develop a comprehensive and strategic marketing strategy aimed at increasing awareness and patronage of Austin’s cultural attractions and amenities. As part of the strategy, the selected Agency will develop and execute an innovative advertising campaign, informed by the City’s existing cultural tourism plan and input from key stakeholders in Austin’s creative sector. The campaign should position Austin as a premiere destination for cultural tourism for the drive, fly, and culturally-minded markets, and should highlight the City’s numerous and diverse offerings in music, visual arts, theatre, media arts, dance, and other creative areas. Primary project deliverables will include the creation of a distinct brand and graphic identity for Austin’s collective cultural amenities, and a multi-pronged regional, national, and international advertising campaign, across media platforms, reflective of the spirit and unique character of Austin’s diverse creative community.


The creative industries in Austin play a critical role in attracting tourists, not only by creating the distinct character that makes Austin competitive in the global marketplace, but also by substantiating it when visitors arrive and return. The City’s cultural offerings are among its most valuable assets.

In 2012, The Economic Impact of the Creative Sector report found that the impact of Austin’s creative sector on the local economy is $4.3 billion annually, of which tourism accounts for one-third, generating $1.4 billion in economic activity. The Create Austin Cultural Master Plan, presented to the Austin City Council in 2010, contained a recommendation to enhance tourism marketing to include a broader range of institutions. In 2012, the Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan built upon this recommendation and specifically called for the development of a cultural tourism plan to improve offerings at a regional, national, and global level.

In 2013, the Economic Development Department (EDD) received a two-year National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant to develop a cultural tourism plan. Led by Cultural Arts Division (CAD) staff, the development process for the Cultural Tourism plan involved the solicitation of input from more than 80 individual stakeholders and organizations, and culminated in 2015 with the delivery of a Cultural Tourism Plan prepared by consulting firm, Public City. In 2016, the plan underwent a review process by multiple stakeholders, in concert with the City’s Music and Creative Ecosystem Omnibus Resolution, and the City staff’s response to the Omnibus, The Music and Creative Ecosystem Stabilization Recommendations. In late 2016, a timeline for implementing action items and recommendations in the Public City plan was developed, and those items identified as “phase 1” priorities are currently being implemented. Contracting with an Agency to develop a comprehensive cultural tourism marketing strategy was identified as a chief priority.

Scope of Work:

The selected Agency shall develop a comprehensive marketing strategy over a twelve-month period that drives cultural tourism in Austin by highlighting the vast and unique cultural offerings within the City. This shall include the creation of a distinct brand and graphic identity for Austin’s collective cultural amenities, and a multi-pronged regional, national and international advertising campaign, across media platforms that positions Austin as leader in the field of cultural tourism. The strategy should be innovative, with an advertising campaign that includes powerful, memorable messaging and creative, together with effective media placement strategies to measurably increase the advertising return on investment (ROI) and tourism in Austin. The strategy should include ideas on how to best reach new audiences. To illustrate your agencies’ ability to accomplish this strategy, please answer the following questions in your proposal:

  • Does your Agency have an established approach to support the City’s requirements? Is there evidence that it has been used previously and successfully on other contracts? Describe your approach in developing an integrated marketing strategy for a client using multiple media platforms.
  • What are your proposed procedures/mechanisms to provide quality control/assurance to ensure the overall goals of the project are met and deliverables are on time?

The Agency will work with City representatives from the Cultural Arts Division, the Music and Entertainment Division, and the Parks and Recreation Department, along with select project stakeholders identified prior to project kick-off.

The total budget for the Cultural Tourism Marketing Strategy will be capped at $150,000. The proposed advertising buys recommended by the selected Agency shall not exceed $200,000. Provide the steps taken to ensure that a campaign stays within the stated budgets.

Deliverables include creation of a campaign tagline; campaign messaging and talking points; social media strategies; ideas for guerilla or other non-conventional marketing initiatives; and all corollary digital assets, including photography, graphic elements, and social media avatars; and planning, purchasing, and delivering all print, digital, out-of-home, and broadcast advertisements to appropriate media outlets.

Due Date:

May 17th, 2018



124 W 8th STREET

RM 308


Strong tourism PR firms include 5WPR and Hunter PR.

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