Georgia’s Rome Outdoor Pass Brings Success After 2 Months

Emilie Harris  |  November 29th, 2022

One of the main reasons why visitors spend time in Georgia’s Rome is to enjoy their many outdoor experiences. With so many different options for things to do in the great outdoors, the DMO was looking for a simple way to promote the region’s offerings. They wanted something easy and engaging for the visitor, which is why they settled on Bandwango as the solution.

Georgia’s Rome Outdoor Passport launched in September 2022. The pass is a check-in challenge that includes 14 outdoor locations including Cave Spring Rolater Park & Cave, Paris Lake Trail and Marshall Forest. When visitors check in at 6 locations via GPS, they can claim a midpoint prize. When they check in at all 14 locations, they win a completion prize!

The organization chose to have passholders pick up prizes at their Visitor Center in order to facilitate a warm, welcoming environment and to provide an additional resource for passholders to find amenities and attractions in the destination. They keep the water bottles and t-shirts on site to hand out to passholders who qualify.

“Most of our outdoor attractions are not monitored so we have had problems with tracking visits, tracking where visitors came from and how they found out about the attraction,” Kristi Kent said. “Additionally, we meet our trail visitors and hear directly from them about their experiences.”

Success Metrics

  • 827 sign-ups

  • 1,873 check-ins

  • 70% passholders opted in to additional communication

The pass is a bonafide success for Georgia’s Rome! Within just 2 short months of the pass being in market, they have already exceeded their goal for total number of passholders for the year. The initial goal was to generate at least 500 sign-ups in a year.

Major Learnings

“We are tracking that 25% of participation is from visitors outside of our county. We never would have known this [without the Bandwango passport],” Kent said. “The outdoor passport has provided us with great data including where visitors are from, the number of check-ins at each location, and which marketing tactics are driving the most acquisitions.”

Georgia’s Rome has employed a variety of tactics over the past two months to garner such success. They’ve utilized paid social advertising in addition to organic social tactics and earned media. The latter resulted in a full page article in the local newspaper and a major local employer challenging their employees to participate. They’ve also utilized Bandwango resources like remarketing texts and trailhead signs and flyers.

“We learned that the two most popular check-in points are a trailhead we just opened this year and a trailhead we plan to designate as our main trailhead for our system once we complete our greenway loop this spring (which helped reaffirm that decision),” Kent said. “We have trail visitor data that we have never had before.”

What’s Next?

Based on the traffic through Visitor Center doors, Georgia’s Rome knows that the passport appeals to a diverse range of ages & interests - from people who hike all the time to people who are just looking for something fun to do! Both visitors and locals alike have said that the passport opened their eyes to the outdoor opportunities available and make it easy for them to find and enjoy them.

As far as challenges go, the remoteness of a few of the check-in locations meant that GPS redemption didn’t work as seamlessly. In the first few weeks post-launch, Georgia’s Rome removed two locations off the passport because check-in proved too difficult in those locations.

“We have been really happy, and we are going to keep pushing the passport throughout the year,” Kent said.

Check out the passport for yourself by visiting the landing page for the Georgia’s Rome Outdoor Pass.