CEO Message: Sustainable Tourism – A Balanced Approach (June 2022)
This month I want to focus on a major initiative being undertaken by the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. As part of its bold new 10-year vision, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority will strive to be considered as one of the world’s top destination marketing organizations known for leading sustainable tourism. This means balancing the organization’s mission to market the South Shore of Lake Tahoe as a unique, year-round destination with the associated social and environmental impacts, ensuring the region continues to thrive. The new Visit Lake Tahoe brand campaign will encourage newcomers to create a deep connection with Lake Tahoe, a bond that will naturally result in a passion to preserve its grandeur for generations to come.
Below are excerpts from their Q&A that will help explain their vision for the new brand.
Why did you rebrand right now?
It felt like the right time for a number of reasons. The Tahoe South brand served the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority well for more than a decade, but now the South Shore of Lake Tahoe is evolving as a destination, our visitors are evolving and the wants and needs of our local community are evolving.
Over the next few years, we are building a state-of-the-art events center, bringing more improved lodging online, helping craft a lake-wide vision for sustainability and our visitor base is continually expanding nationally and internationally. Rebranding to Visit Lake Tahoe is us meeting that evolution with our own to make sure we are thinking bigger, more holistically and have a modern tourism organization with eyes toward the future.
Why Visit Lake Tahoe and not something South Shore specific? Do you plan to represent the whole lake?
Our research has shown that outside of our local markets and regional northern California and Nevada markets, people don’t understand the difference between the North Shore and South Shore. To them, they’re visiting Lake Tahoe. We wanted to meet them where they are and simply invite them to “visit” Lake Tahoe. We’ve always been the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, not the South Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, so this definitely made sense for us.
Now, that doesn’t mean we’re officially representing the whole lake. Our role as a visitors bureau, or destination marketing and management organization, is to positively impact the economy of the South Shore of Lake Tahoe. But we know that their adventure doesn’t stop with South Shore. After enjoying lodging, dining, entertainment, and recreation with us, they’re ready to explore the rest of Lake Tahoe. They love to experience the whole lake when they stay with us, which only deepens the connection — so we’re happy to be part of a rising tide lifting all boats!
What is your vision for Visit Lake Tahoe?
Sustainable tourism, which is defined as balancing social, environmental and economic factors, while continuing to thrive as a destination, is increasingly crucial to destinations like ours coming out of the pandemic. It’s important that we create that balance for our locals, for the delicate Lake Tahoe environment and for our visitor experience, so we are thinking big with a 10-year vision for Visit Lake Tahoe. We want to be a leader in the sustainable tourism space.
What does the tagline Awe and then Some mean?
Awe and then Some is our brand line, or tagline, and the perfect embodiment of our destination. When you visit Lake Tahoe, you get the awe of one of the world’s true wonders. But on the South Shore, you also get so much more. It’s more than just a pretty place. You get a total Tahoe experience.
It’s a welcoming place filled with good times, casual vibes and invigorating experiences that fill you with smiles, laughs and peaceful moments. It’s a communal place where you connect with friends, loved ones and strangers on the lake, over a campfire, on the trails, over a meal, in a bar or at a show. It’s all sorts of awesome, and it all makes you feel alive. That’s “awe (and then) some.”
The Tahoe Chamber is proud to support the efforts of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and their efforts to balance tourism’s economic benefits with the environment and our community.