State tourism slogans: key to success or a waste of time? | The Insight Files |

Michigan is pure, Louisiana is passionate, and Virginia is for lovers, according to the state tourism slogans adopted and promoted by these U.S. states' tourism boards. Almost every American state has a tourism slogan, a two- or three-word line that hopes to catch the spirit of a destination, but their ultimate role in attracting visitors is open to debate. To test the awareness of the general American consumer, Skift took one of the oldest and most famous of state tourism slogans, "Virginia Is For Lovers," and asked 500 random respondents through Google Consumer Surveys to identify the state associated with "is For Lovers." 52% of respondents correctly chose Virginia from five choices, including California, New York, Florida and Louisiana. Given the underwhelming response to the survey, Skift sought out state tourism boards that have put significant efforts into building and spreading their slogans. Although each consider the slogan an integral piece of their marketing make-up, there is no proven method for measuring and testing their continued effectiveness. Tourism leaders from Virginia, Michigan and Louisiana share their experiences developing and maintaining their slogans.