Gila County’s Tourism and Marketing Initiative seems to be working. So much so that more than a few folks have told Gila County District 1 Supervisor Tommie Martin the effort is working too well with the large, steady flow of visitors to Rim Country throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, Discover Gila County (DGC), started development in late March 2018. The result debuted Feb. 14, 2019 — a website, discovergilacounty.com, with more than 500 pages, in excess of 4,000 photos, plus videos and over a million words. Cameron Davis and his Razor Thin Media, LLC developed the site, with help from county staff and others.

At a special meeting Tuesday, Oct. 27, the Gila County Board of Supervisors heard an update on the project from Davis.

He said in its second year of operation the site has had 53,237 visitors, which is up from 22,000 in the first year. And there are still three months to go, Davis added. He expanded on the site’s statistics:

• The top page visited is the calendar

• 66% of traffic is now being generated from search engines

• 22% of traffic is generated from social media

• More than 7,000 visitors per month

• More than 1,500 email inquiries for more information

• More than 500 phone calls

Social media statistics show:

• 10,000 followers since going live

• Giveaway campaigns have reached more than 500,000 people and generated more than 145,000 engagements

• DGC has posted over 900 posts that reached over 1 million people and generated over 296,000 engagements

• DGC is seeing a 29% engagement rate across all posts (Google says typical engagement rates are between 0.50-0.99%)

The site promotes events, activities, destination sites, and opportunities that exist within Gila County.

Davis offered the BOS a look at from where the site’s traffic is coming and who is visiting.

International visitors

1. USA (96% of all traffic)

2. Canada

3. Germany

4. United Kingdom

5. Mexico

U.S. visitors

1. Arizona (73%)

2. California

3. Oregon

4. Texas

5. Massachusetts

Arizona visitors

1. Phoenix (30%)

2. Mesa

3. Chandler

4. Tempe

5. Tucson

The audience

• 88% of our visitors are first-time visitors

• Median age is 38-65

• They are affluent

• Like to travel

• They are outdoor enthusiasts

• They like to shop

• They like to eat out

• They are pet lovers

Among the future plans for the site, Davis said revamping the Eat and Stay sections of the site to make it easier to find information and Discover Gila County, Inc. is working with the Gila County IDA on several new additions that are projected to happen in 2021.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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