COLUMBIA, Tenn., Aug. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Columbia, Tennessee launched its new tourism brand "Visit Columbia TN" recently, the first-ever tourism initiative for the city. The launch unveiled the new website, VisitColumbiaTn.com, a visitor guide, and the brand creative behind the new look, all designed to inspire travel to Columbia.
The targeted efforts began when the City Council made tourism a top priority in their strategic plan, recognizing the economic importance and impact of tourism. They commissioned a marketing & branding study conducted by Chandlerthinks of Franklin, Tn. The study's final report, released in 2017, identified a list of top priorities for the city to complete to establish a tourism presence. Among them, create a tourism brand, website, visitor guide, digital/social presence and marketing collateral.
The launch, led by Columbia's Tourism and Marketing Director Kellye Murphy, comes as she completes her first year with the city. "I am excited to have the brand in place so we can get down to the business of marketing Columbia," stated Murphy. "Travelers are expert, savvy shoppers when it comes to discovering authentic travel experiences. The new website and guide will provide them with the best inspiration and information to plan their visit to Columbia."
Columbia, the county seat of Maury County, is located 45 miles south of Nashville and 75 miles north of Huntsville, Alabama. Sometimes referred to as "Muletown," a nickname adopted from the annual Mule Day celebration dating back to the 1800s, Columbia is known for its classic, vibrant downtown nestled along the Duck River just blocks from the newly-established Columbia Arts District. And Columbia maintains presidential status as the ancestral home of the 11th U.S. President James K. Polk.
"It's a momentous occasion for the City of Columbia as we launch the new tourism brand," stated Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey. "We are experiencing a renaissance of sorts with new business and residential growth and the expectation of tourism growth. More people are moving here, and more visitors are discovering Columbia. We are happy to welcome them."
Marketing Columbia is an important strategic planning goal by the Columbia City Council," said Columbia City Manager Tony Massey. "We have a great story to tell, and we're telling it."
The first priority was creating the look and feel of the tourism brand. Columbia local Bryson Leach, the founder of the "My Columbia" brand and known for his fresh design perspective and creativity, was chosen for the task. Leach studied the marketing & branding report for insight and inspiration before deciding on the iconic courthouse spire for the brand logo. The brand colors and fonts selected reflect an informal, inviting style that's true to the brand. The tagline "A Classic Southern Town with a Kick" pays subtle homage to the Mule Day tradition and the Muletown theme that has woven its way into the fabric of Columbia.
The extensive process to create a new tourism website became the new top priority. A formal bid process led to the selection of Simpleview Inc., a company specializing in web and graphic design for the travel industry, to create the new site VisitColumbiaTn.com. Their task was to develop a responsive website that would appeal to visitors on all devices, using colorful, inviting imagery and intuitive navigation. The site's features, functionality, and design make it the ideal marketing tool to inspire travel to Columbia by showcasing the city through compelling photos, stories, and comprehensive visitor information.
The Columbia visitor guide was designed in tandem with the website project. Again, Leach was called on to design the guide to be a reflection of Columbia that would create interest in the destination and influence visitors to seek out VisitColumbiaTn.com for travel inspiration and planning. The finished guide is available on the website, in Middle Tennessee welcome centers, and at hotels and attractions in the Greater Nashville area.
ABOUT: Visit Columbia TN is the official destination marketing entity of the City of Columbia, Tennessee. The mission of Visit Columbia TN is to market and develop Columbia as a premier leisure and sports destination while maximizing tourism expenditures and positive visitor experiences that increase revenues and stimulate economic growth for the city. www.visitcolumbiatn.com