Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) are starting to go all in on promoting beer tourism.
Naturally, DMOs love the idea of another reason to draw visitors to their country, state, region, or city. Attracting local visitors is the goal of most DMOs and beer tourism provides them another tool in their toolbox, one that (unlike wine tourism) is not limited to certain regions.
Visit Anaheim, which represents the city located in California, took this to a new level by commissioning a national study of beer drinkers to ask about beer tourism. This study received a lot of press coverage, including by media such as the New York Post.
What’s more, Visit Anaheim produces a short, classy video that summarized the study findings:
What we find interesting about this is the decision by Visit Anaheim to invest dollars into a study of national beer tourism and in a video promoting the results. Anaheim already has the largest convention center on the west coast and is home to Disney World. But the DMO sees enough potential in beer tourism to invest in this study.
I spoke to Charles Harris, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Visit Anaheim, to understand their motivation a bit more.
Harris explained that Anaheim, like every other city in the country, has “latched on to beer tourism” as another way to drive visitors to the area. While they already get 24 million visitors a year, they do believe that beer tourism has the potential to draw new people.
But more than that, Harris explained, “we want visitors to Anaheim to experience the entire destination”. In other words, someone who comes to the city for a conference might visit a brewery on a free night, especially if they know about the brewery options in advance.
Not every DMO is going to invest in beer tourism. But if a DMO has not featured local breweries on its website and is not promoting them on social media, it is missing out.