Sturbridge Tourist Association Issues Branding/Marketing RFP

Sturbridge Tourist Association Issues  Branding/Marketing RFP
Sturbridge Tourist Association Issues Branding/Marketing RFP

The Sturbridge Tourist Association (STA), represented by the Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator (EDTC), is seeking proposals for the development of a town brand and a three (3) year marketing strategy for the community. The STA will use these to promote Sturbridge to the public at large over the next few years.


Sturbridge is a vibrant community with a diverse business base that benefits from its proximity to several major inter and intra state roadways. The town is home to fourteen hotels, almost fifty restaurants, three breweries and numerous merchants. However what the town is best known for is Old Sturbridge Village which, as the largest living history museum in New England, can and has drawn over 250,000 patrons a year to our community. Beyond the numerous eateries, hotels and the Village, the town is host to a number of burgeoning economic and entertainment sectors. Sturbridge is rapidly becoming a wedding destination with locations such as the Publick House and Hyland Orchard drawing hundreds of couples from across the country to wed in this idyllic New England community. For outdoor enthusiasts the town is building new outdoor trails every year; there are currently over thirty miles of available trails in town. Finally, the town is expanding its outreach efforts by creating local events that foster community spirit and encourage patronage of local businesses. All told Sturbridge hosts many wonderful things to see and experience.

It must be stated that Sturbridge greatly benefits from the revenues brought in by its tourists and visitors. Over the past ten years the town has seen yearly increases in the revenues that it collects from the hotel/motel room tax and the same is seen over the past eight years for our meals tax. In 2018 alone the town collected $999,165 in hotel/motel tax revenues and $464,678 in meals taxes. The revenues generated from local tourism are put towards one of three categories. First is the general fund to offset local operational costs. The second is the Betterment Committee which funds public safety, recreation and beautification efforts in town. The third and final way those dollars are spent is through the STA which uses its allocation to support tourist related events in, and marketing of, the community as well as funding the EDTC position.

Scope of Work:

The chosen consultant will be expected to develop a community brand and subsequent three (3) year marketing strategy for Sturbridge that will involve the following components:

  • A written examination of Sturbridge’s current brand and marketing strategy, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats;
  • Written report to be submitted to the STA via the EDTC;
  • Develop a profile of the types of Sturbridge visitor (location traveled from, purpose of travel, interests, media preferences, etc.)
  • Written report to be submitted to the STA via the EDTC;
  • Conduct research to see how Sturbridge residents and businesses view the community;
  • It must include two community meetings: one for the general public and the other for key stakeholders (businesses, local and regional partners, etc.);
  • Written summary of the meetings to be submitted to the STA via the EDTC;
  • Develop a town brand and written brand guidelines and publically present to a joint meeting of the Sturbridge Tourist Association and the Board of Selectmen
  • Develop a written strategy for how the Town can adopt said brand (may be included as a part of the marketing strategy);
  • Develop a written three (3) year marketing strategy for the town to market itself to those visitors profiled
  • Publically present written strategy to the Sturbridge Tourist Association;
  • Provide technical assistance, support and guidance during the initial rollout of the brand and strategy (last two months of the bid contract, anticipated May and June 2020).

Due Date:

August 14, 2019


Town of Sturbridge

Attn: Kevin Filchak, M.P.A.

301 Main Street

Sturbridge, MA 01566

5WPR and Hunter PR are strong tourism focused PR firms.

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