June 19, 2024

Newton makes reservations to expand marketing efforts

By early July, city will know if it has made the waitlist for Iowa Tourism Office

The City of Newton wants to expand its marketing efforts by making reservations for the Iowa Tourism Office's Travel Iowa Co-Op Program, which offers innovative marketing strategies that drive tourism to communities throughout the state.

Newton City Council on May 15 authorized the city’s marketing manager to make reservations for the Iowa Tourism Office’s Travel Iowa Co-Op Program, which is said to provide exciting opportunities and new marketing tactics that the city can take advantage of within the next year.

The move follows through with the city’s objective to make Newton a compelling destination, as noted in the Envision Newton 2042 Comprehensive Plan. The Iowa Co-Op Program’s messaging will focus on the state’s key lifestyle advantages, which city documents say fit well with that strategic objective.

Much of the target audiences that the Iowa Tourism Office wants to connect with are Gen Z and Millennials (ages 22 to 29) who are seeking new adventure and memorable experiences, as well as Millennials and Gen X (ages 30 to 39) looking for an affordable place to travel with their young families.

Iowa Tourism Office says certain destinations and attractions in the state have a unique story that resonates with travelers and will motivate them to experience:

• Iowa’s best-kept secrets and hidden gems

• Awe-inspiring outdoor adventures

• Award-winning cuisines

• Innovative wineries, breweries and distilleries

• Memorable family fun escapes

• Diverse art exhibits and cultural events

• Quaint shopping experiences

• Large-scale events

• Affordable weekend getaways

Some of the marketing opportunities include print ads in Midwest Livings’ Best of the Midwest and Better Homes & Garden, which have circulations between 300,000 and 326,500. Other opportunities are also available, like digital billboards, dedicated emails and sponsored content on www.traveliowa.com.

Reservations for the Travel Iowa Co-Op Program will be accepted beginning 10 a.m. June 7, but space is available on a first-come basis. Registration will close on June 21. When opportunities are full, partners are placed on a waitlist, and there is no cost to be on the waitlist.

Danielle Rogers, community marketing manager for the City of Newton, told council members this is not the first time the city has tried to make reservations with the Iowa Tourism Office. But it is the first time the city has dedicated funds not to exceed $24,000 for the reservations.

“With the new comprehensive plan and the different strategies the Tourism Office has introduced, I just wanted to get your guys’ approval. I can’t guarantee what we’re going to get because it’s open to the entire state of Iowa, but we can definitely sign up for as much as we want,” Rogers said.

Council member Evelyn George was in favor of the idea, saying the Iowa Tourism Office has really stepped up its game in terms of promoting Iowa through innovated ventures. She also liked the idea of trying to target hard-to-reach audiences liked Gen Z and Millennials.

“We can really capitalize on our downtown and Maytag heritage in terms of the Hotel Maytag or Legacy Plaza, especially when the state knows we are really working on the reinvestment district,” George said. “So I think it’s really important to be a part of this communication channel.”

Newton will know if it has been accepted by July 7.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.