Georgia tourism gets a CRM boost

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The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) has equipped its tourism Web site with OpenTravel CRM.

OpenTravel, designed specifically for the travel industry, offers visitor profile, contact management, automated brochure fulfillment, workflow automation and marketing capabilities. The GDEcD will use the system largely to enhance its brochure fulfillment, with the goal of trimming two to three days off of the fulfillment process.

“OpenTravel helps us create a great environment for consumers to do online fulfillment,” said Fred Huff, director of marketing for the GDEcD. “It gives us immediate e-mail notification and lead generation for our partners across the state, it allows us to take inventory through multiple locations, and the big thing is that is going to allow us to manage our inventory of travel guides better. We have tourism partners across the state, and this allows us to support their efforts as well.”

The addition of OpenTravel, Engauge Digital, which replaces GDEcD's old proprietary database, is part of a bigger upgrade to the state's tourism efforts. The new site, just launched in April and is now moving into its second phase. Part of the strategy is to sell Georgia experiences — including activities, lodging and other travel aspects — rather than individual travel deals. Engauge, GDEcD's digital AOR, played a major role in bringing into its second phase.

“Longer engagement is really key, so we're introducing video, user-generated content and enhancements to the richness of the content we have,” said Al Skelton, account manager at Engauge. “Phase two [of the site revamp] is really about enriching that experience, having longer more meaningful engagements and solidifying the site as a go-to resource for vacation-planners.”

Women age 38 to 54 with children at home are the target demographic for the site.

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