the Lazy River
Indiana tourism offices
pool resources for broader marketing
(February 2007) A collaborative marketing
organization in southeast Indiana helps county tourism officials work
together to better promote tourism in the area.
For the past 13 years, Down The Lazy River has helped develop area products,
promote travel and attract the group tour market to the region. The
organization members are the Madison Area Convention & Visitors
Bureau; Dearborn County Convention, Visitor & Tourism Bureau; Ripley
County Tourism Bureau and the Rising Sun/Ohio County Convention &
Tourism Bureau. Switzerland County, Ind., Convention & Visitors
Bureau was a member through 2006 and still remains partners in several
of the organizations projects, including the Indiana Wine Trail.
Sally McWilliams, marketing coordinator for the organization,
said the marketing efforts of the group are funded by the county partners
through their individual marketing budgets. She said the group frequently
does collaborative marketing projects as a way of maximizing their individual
advertising dollars and creating a larger visual presence for the region.
An example of this type of collaboration would be the 3.5-page advertising
spread the organization did for the 2007 Indiana Travel Guide, which
is produced by the Indiana Office of Tourism Development.
Linda Lytle, executive director of Madisons Convention & Visitors
Bureau, said contributions are made project by project. She said if
a county doesnt want to be involved in a particular project, it
doesnt contribute financially.
Lytle said that for 10 years the organization devoted much of their
efforts to developing product and marketing for motor coach itineraries,
but it has branched out in the past three years to develop marketing
aimed at leisure travel along rural areas. Much of the area in the five
participating counties is rural.
McWilliams said that at present, the groups main project is to
develop and promote the Indiana Wine Trail, which it launched in May
2006. Lytle said the group is currently developing a plan to better
promote the wine trail, which features several wineries throughout the
five-county region and are in the talking stages of an arts
trail for the area.
McWilliams explained the individual counties are involved in the new
Artisan Trail through a group called the Ohio River Scenic Byway and
the recent completion of a database of regional artists. She said the
counties will be involved as the Byways project continues to develop.
The first project schedule for Down The Lazy River pertaining to the
Artisan Trail will be the creation of a new group tour itinerary, Indiana
Artisan Trail Tour, which will focus on the art production and experience
in the four-member counties.
Switzerland County Tourism Director David Attaway said his county would
be interested in the Artisan Trail project.
McWilliams said the organization worked to create five new motor coach
itineraries in the area last summer alone, including the Indiana Wine
Trail Tour, the Red Hat Romp Tour, the Ohio River Mansions Tour, the
Indiana Birding Trail Tour and the Indiana Underground Railroad Tour.
For more information about Down The Lazy River
projects or tours, visit: www.downthelazyriver.org.
For more information about the Indiana Wine Trail, visit: www.indianawinetrail.com.
Back to February 2007