Visit San Antonio: Marketing, January 2019

Holidays Lit Up

Numerous marketing efforts pushed awareness and visitation during the holidays. A Holiday co-op program November 13-December 31 generated over 11 million impressions and over 63,000 clicks, for a CTR of .57%. Digital advertising using device ID tracking was able to attribute 4,772 visitors who saw a holiday campaign online ad and then visited San Antonio during the campaign time frame. The greatest number of visitors came from Houston (2,546). Custom e-mail messages were sent to History/Arts/Culture and Urban Traveling Family personas in Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley. In addition, brand advertising for November and December generated over 30 million impressions. There were over 117,000 visits to the Holidays landing page on the website. An extra marketing push encouraged travel to the Valero Alamo Bowl, reaching fans and alumni of the Cyclones and the Cougars in Washington and Iowa statewide, as well as in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Plus our new TV spots and a halftime feature aired nationally during the game.

Online Engagement Strong

Online engagement for the first quarter of 2019 was strong at 4,122,816, which was 32.9 percent over projections. These are especially good results given that the new launched during this timeframe. Generally, when a new website is launched, there is a drop in organic traffic to the site.  Although there was a drop in web traffic in December, it was mitigated by social media engagement.

Culinary Ambassadors

As the Tricentennial year wrapped up for both cities, San Antonio and New Orleans collaborated on a culinary exchange. Chefs from San Antonio headed to New Orleans for a special cooking event and then chefs from New Orleans did the same in San Antonio. Marketing executed a media program to create awareness and drive attendance at these events. Digital ads across mobile, desktop and social media were targeted to Foodies and History/Arts/Culture personas. They delivered 1,747,291 impressions and 2,211 clicks for a CTR of 0.13 percent. Regional Communications negotiated a program with WGNO/ABC that included a cooking segment that aired on Good Morning New Orleans on Nov. 27, as well as placements of our San Antonio TV spot.

Time to Rodeo

Marketing partnered with the rodeo to create excitement and visitation to this year’s San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo from Feb. 7-24. Custom e-mails were sent to consumers in Corpus Christi, Lubbock, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. Digital advertising also displayed in these markets and supported a PR blitz.

Ongoing Media Outreach 

All leisure domestic and international media efforts are in progress as planned. For spring (January-April) domestic marketing, digital advertising is reaching the personas with the greatest potential impact for San Antonio through the Agency Trading Desk’s (ATD) advanced targeting technology. The allocation by persona is History/Arts/Culture-40 percent, Urban Traveling Family-40 percent, High Energy Educated Urbanites-10 percent and Foodie-10 percent. Other key digital partners are Google Search, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Tegna, and Targeted e-mail message will deploy through partners E-target, AFAR, TripAdvisor, Texas Monthly and Local Palate. Print ads will appear in Texas Monthly, Garden & Gun, and in the following publications that focus on key Texas markets: Playbill, Houstonia, D Magazine, Fort Worth Magazine and AARP. Radio and TV partners include Pandora, Cable/NCC, Hulu and a program with Good Taste with Tanji.

Internationally, the Agency Trading Desk (ATD) is reaching target audiences across platforms in all targeted countries. Additional spring (Jan-April) media partners in Mexico include El,,, Life&,, Despegar, SpotX, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Google Search. Additional in spring in Canada, partners are The Weather Network, TripAdvisor and SpotX. Additional spring partners for an international culture focused campaign include TripAdvisor and SpotX.

Co-branding with Air Canada

Additional efforts in Canada are supporting the Air Canada direct flight from Toronto to San Antonio. A special digital campaign, co-branded with Air Canada, is targeted to Toronto and feeder markets Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa, from January through April.

Social Highlights

In January, the social media team is doing live social for San Antonio Restaurant Week and the San Antonio Cocktail Conference. They are also kicking off a new Instagram Story segment showcasing major attractions as well as things visitors may not know exist in San Antonio. For January, they are covering the San Antonio Fire Museum and The Witte.


Meeting City

Visit San Antonio will reach meeting planners from January through March through media partners Agency Trading Desk (ATD), Google Search, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, SpotX, CVENT, e-target, Meetings & Conventions, Meetings Today, The Meeting Professional, Association Leadership, Association Now and PCMA Convene. As with the leisure marketing, the Agency Trading Desk offers multiple ways to target meeting planners with the appropriate message (e.g., type of planner, industry, location, behavior, etc.). In December, Marketing deployed an e-blast focusing on our recent Skift article, “San Antonio's Spirit of Collaboration Helps Meeting Planners Achieve Their Goals,” to an audience of more than 800,000 meeting planning professionals across the nation. Advertorials appeared in the November/December issues of Meetings & Conventions, Successful Meetings and TSAE Association Leadership.

Coming Up: New Destination Video

A new destination video is in progress that captures iconic and lesser-known points of interest. The cinematic-style video shows key personas (History/Arts/Culture travelers, Urban Traveling Family, Foodies and High Energy Educated Urbanites) discovering and enjoying the city. Production is expected to be completed by the end of January. The full video will be cut in different ways (e.g., length and persona interests) in order to maximize its use for different applications.

Don’t Miss Out on Co-op Program

Co-op initiatives will boost your marketing efforts, and we will soon be implementing a Spring program. In addition, there are a variety of 2019 Co-op opportunities available to gold-level members, from custom options to seasonal campaigns. A brochure of opportunities can be found on  For information, contact Katie Krampitz, Leisure Marketing Manager, or Sandy Smith, Director of Marketing,

Events Drive Visits

Consumers want to know what’s happening, and the Events section of the website is heavily trafficked. With the new website, this section is more engaging than ever. Don’t forget to add your events to here. Also, the Submit An Event link now appears at the bottom of every page of the new to make it easier for you. You do not have to be a Visit San Antonio member to add events.

Maps & Guides

Your customers might appreciate a copy of our convenient Tearaway Map showing the downtown and metro areas or our handy Dining & Nightlife Guides. If you would like a supply, please contact Visit San Antonio’s front desk at 210-244-2000.