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Discover Marana Receives Governor’s Tourism Award

This week, the Arizona Office of Tourism awarded DiscoverMarana.org with the Governor’s Tourism Award for Interactive Technology, honoring the Town of Marana’s commitment to supporting the local economy.

A year ago, the Town of Marana launched DiscoverMarana.org, a state-of-the-art tourism portal that attracts visitors to Marana from across Arizona, the United States, and abroad. This undertaking, which was a collaborative effort between the Town of Marana and Tempest Interactive Media, is aimed at supporting Marana’s extensive tourism industry, including top-tier resorts, world-class golf courses, and spectacular scenic beauty. Since going live, Discover Marana has provided visitors with a highly engaging, personally tailored experience that showcases Marana’s wide variety of tourism opportunities. 

“By positioning Marana as the Gateway to Southern Arizona,” says Director of Economic Development and Tourism Curt Woody, “the brand emphasizes the mix of modern amenities and historic Sonoran setting that is unique to Marana.”

While Marana’s wealth of attractions provides the backbone of the tourism effort, Discover Marana helps package them in a way that is accessible and appealing to thousands of potential guests.  The Town has employed aggressive digital marketing initiatives, including organic search engine optimization and paid search advertising, to drive web visitors to Discover Marana.  As a result, the site enjoys an average of 1,500 unique sessions per month.  Even more encouraging is the growth in organic sessions; since its launch, the site has seen a 507% increase in non-paid traffic.

Part of what has enabled the success of Discover Marana is the Town’s close relationships with key stakeholders across the community.  The Marana Chamber of Commerce hosts a visitor center that invites tourists to peruse the website and plan their stay in the Town.  Furthermore, Marana has collaborated closely with the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, a Five-Star, Five-Diamond property located within Town limits.  This relationship has allowed the resort and the Town to share digital content across platforms, including drone video footage and high resolution photography.  This enables the Town to provide stimulating visual content on Discover Marana, content that in turn inspires our guests to want to see this stunning landscape for themselves.

In addition to the partnerships with the Chamber and the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Marana also partners with the Simon Premium Outlet Mall at Marana Center. The Town has spotlighted retail opportunities at the Mall on the Discover Marana blog, and in particular has targeted the market of international travelers visiting Marana from northern Mexico.

Shopping, lodging, golfing, mountain biking, hiking, and more: all these activities spur Marana’s tourism industry. By working closely with community partners, Discover Marana has successfully featured each of these allures, and many others, in its pages.

“Discover Marana has been live for almost a year, and I’m incredibly proud of how far we’ve come in that time.  This tool is allowing Marana to support our local economy by attracting visitors from near and far,” explains Woody.  “In the next year, we plan to build on that success and develop even more innovative ways to market Marana as the Gateway to Southern Arizona.”