The National Scenic Byway Foundation congratulates the Natchez Trace Parkway as the winner of our 2023 Byway Organization Award for Communication. This is one of the Foundation’s eight national awards presented annually.
The Natchez Trace Compact (NTC) represents the Parkway across three states. NTC is responsible for implementing the 2021-2022 Marketing Plan with an aggressive advertising, marketing, and public relations program. As part of its overall strategy for attracting visitors to the byway and adjacent communities, one goal is to communicate the message – “Explore the Trace, Discover America.”
The NTC is made up of three state tourism offices and 18 community DMOs who work together to encourage travelers to experience the “Unique Journey from Natchez to Nashville.” The NTC knew the approach to reach travelers post-pandemic had to look different than previous marketing efforts. The new tactics complemented existing efforts to reinforce the message that the Parkway and local communities were open and safe for exploration.
The website’s enhanced interactive map and itinerary builder has gained traffic, so we highlighted it more over the past year on social media and in digital advertising to assist travelers in their planning. We updated community information to double-check hours and what venues were open (no small task on a byway of this size). Our social media posts also featured these venues as travel inspiration, and our scenic photography was greatly enhanced due to our partnership with digital influencers and the local DMOs. A real publicity plus was Colleen Creamer’s New York Times, article, “From Nashville to Tupelo on the Natchez Trace Parkway.” The 444-mile Trace secured an extensive feature about her personal trek down the Byway from Nashville to Tupelo in a hybrid vehicle.
The National Scenic Byway Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving as The National Voice of Scenic Byways and Roads, dedicated to strengthening Byways through education, training and shared expertise. It is the vision of the National Scenic Byway Foundation that our nation’s designated Byways will be recognized and valued worldwide for their distinctive experiences, stories, and treasured places. For more information visit www.travelbyways.com; www.nsbfoundation.com; or email: [email protected].