Howe Caverns is the largest show cave in the Northeastern US. It’s also a roadside attraction from a time gone by, when people drove out to the country to see what they could see. Today, Howe Caverns competes with flashy amusement parks, water parks, interactive video games and the bright lights of the shopping mall. Until recently, they promoted the tourism destination through geographic marketing, widely dispersed billboards and broadcast media in a limited area. Their online strategy included a web site, but no banner advertising, no search engine optimization and no behavioral retargeting. Howe Caverns relied on old school media to compete in a new school market.
Annual visits peaked at nearly a quarter million per year, but had been declining steadily. The management decided it was time to take Howe Caverns to a new level. Purchased in 2007, the new owners committed significant capital investments for cavern expansion and the addition of several above-ground activities. They wanted to reinvent Howe Caverns as a year-round travel destination and enhance the user’s experience to attract new and repeat visitors.