'¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!' invites Hispanic tourists to Old Pueblo with Spanish ads
Visit Tucson's new Spanish-language advertising campaign aimed at Hispanic tourists is branding the Old Pueblo as the destination for them by spotlighting the city’s heritage and multicultural events. The tourism agency announced “¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!” last week as a Hispanic-focused campaign that will attract a large but often-overlooked market by promoting local festivals, music and food as a way for them to connect to their roots.
Visit Tucson launched “¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!,” or “Tucson Is Your Home,” to advertise Tucson as a bicultural Spanish-speaking destination, said Marisol Vindiola, the group’s multicultural marketing director.
En español: '¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!' invita a los turistas hispanos al Pueblo Viejo con anuncios en español
The focus of the campaign’s message is to promise Spanish-speakers will feel “comfortable” and “connected with their roots” while visiting Tucson, said Vindiola, speaking in Spanish. The effort will advertise local events that have ties to Latino culture such as the Mexican Baseball Fiesta, Tucson Meet Yourself, the International Mariachi Conference, Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta and the Agave Heritage Festival.
“We would like to start to receive more Hispanic visitors that feel comfortable, that feel like Tucson was their home,” said Vindiola, who's leading the project. “(Tucson) is a city that welcomes them and where they can connect to their Hispanic roots through the culture, heritage, through the gastronomy and the music and, above all, the people here.”
The campaign will also showcase Tucson’s designation as a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO and James Beard-winning and nominated chefs along with the surrounding hiking and biking trails, art, music and history.
It’ll also invite Latinos across the country to see how Tucson celebrates Dia de los Muertos with its All Souls Procession and to come during Hispanic Heritage Month, which carries from Sept. 15 Oct. 15 as the city celebrates with food and concerts.
Latinos not only represent a growing market, Vindiola said, but a market that likes to travel as a family and tell others about their experiences. That’s why she agreed that it was obvious to advertise Tucson’s Hispanic heritage to the rest of the Spanish-speakers around the country.
“Hispanics, we travel with family, and we travel as a group. They can come and have an experience that's cultural, gastronomic or with open-air activities, reconnect with the family in a place where they feel welcome,” she said. “They should feel welcome and should feel comfortable enough to speak in Spanish or English or Spanglish.”
“¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!” boasts about the strong Sonoran culture in Pima County, which might resonate more with Latinos of Mexican roots, but the campaign targets any Hispanic traveler in the U.S. and abroad, Vindiola said.
“When we’re talking about Hispanics, we’re not just talking about Mexicans, we’re talking about Puerto Ricans — all of Latin America,” she said. “We’re connected through festivals and events and like with Tucson Meet Yourself, it’s not only for Mexicans or about Mexicans. We celebrate multiculturalism here.”
Hispanic tourists are part of a market in “that’s very, very much growing“ and “we haven’t given it the attention it deserves,” Vindiola said. The Spanish advertising will help them reach that market, she said, but Visit Tucson also wants to put out a message that Latinos will like.
“We have never had a campaign in Spanish to attract Hispanic visitors, one that makes them feel comfortable,” she said. “What we’re doing with this campaign too is we want to make sure that people see in the ads a representation of themselves.”
The campaign is starting up “little by little,” but Visit Tucson already plans to advertise the campaign’s message in Tucson’s main markets for air travelers, which includes Denver, San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix, Vindiola said, as well as in the markets for highway or bus travelers from Albuquerque and El Paso.
Visit Tucson also wants “people to come and stay, not just for a weekend, but they should come and explore the culture in the Sonoran Desert,” Vindiola said.
Advertising for “¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!” will appear on TV and streaming services, including Telemundo, NBC, podcasts, iHeartRadio and through local radio stations, Vindiola said.
The cost of the campaign is “a small investment for now,” Vindiola said, but she expects it to “grow and grow.” Pima County and the city of Tucson often fund Visit Tucson through contracts and grants, including at least $1 million in federal COVID relief last year. Visit Tucson will fund "¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!" themselves.
Vindiola doesn’t know what kind of economic impact the campaign could have yet, she said, but Visit Tucson hopes to get a better idea.
“It’s the first time we’re doing this campaign, and we hope that moving ahead we can start to quantify and have more data,” she said.
Visit Tucson goes by Vamos a Tucson in Spanish and publishes translated visitor information online. However, “¡Tucson Es Tu Casa!” focuses more on promoting Tucson’s Hispanic heritage than translating ads for Spanish-speakers, Vindiola said,
The campaign will get more “aggressive” in the future, Vindiola said, and it’s part of a long-term strategy. “We want to keep going after that market, for sure,” she said.
Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member supported by readers like you.