Travelers and their four-legged companions increasingly are seeking getaways that don’t just allow dogs, but truly welcome them. That’s why we partnered with Visit North Carolina on a campaign to hire the first-ever Dog Travel Agent to help tell the world about the state’s woof-worthy destinations – as only a canine can.
The search began on National Dog Day (Aug. 26), when North Carolina doggos (and their hoomans) were invited to submit a one-minute application video at DogTravelAgent.com. The recruitment effort, which runs through Sept. 15, is also being promoted via LinkedIn and Indeed job listings, Facebook and Instagram video ads, Instagram Stories GIF stickers, email, web and social content and more.
The campaign was inspired by the insight that most dog-focused content is created by and for people, not their pupper pals. So LGA invented the idea of hiring the First Dog Travel Agent to help inspire travel from a pup’s perspective.
According to the American Pet Products Association, 45% of pet owners take their dogs with them when they travel, up from just 19% a decade ago. With the number of U.S. households owning pets now 60% higher than those with children, destination marketers like Visit North Carolina are seeking creative ways to attract woofers and their best frens.
Once hired, North Carolina’s Dog Travel Agent will produce and curate doggo-friendly travel content showcasing the state’s beaches, national parks, dynamic cities and abundant outdoor activities, along with helpful info for their hoomans, like where to stay, what to eat and how to get around. Doggo influencer visits and in-market activations are also in the works.
The innovative program is an extension of the “Firsts That Last” campaign that helped vault visitor spending to record levels in the Tar Heel State last year. “Firsts That Last” was recognized Aug. 20 by the National Council of State Tourism Directors and the U.S. Travel Association with a Mercury Award for Best Branding and Integrated Marketing Campaign among states with marketing budgets over $10 million, edging out perennial favorites from the states of Michigan and Oregon.