Radius is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of the region to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.
BEDFORD — After a year-long effort, Radius Indiana has unveiled its new tourism initiative: “Discover Southern Indiana.” The region-wide tourism drive is the first of its kind for the area and gives an identity to the opportunities the Radius region has to offer to its visitors.
Tourists looking to visit the Radius region will soon be able to visit the “Discover Southern Indiana” website — a one-stop shop for all and any resources they may need to plan a trip to the region. From accommodations to outdoor recreational adventures, the region has vacation activities for people of all ages.
Unifying the tourism initiative across the region allows community leaders and tourism businesses to cost-share practices to more effectively implement the branding because multiple counties are likely to be visited by a single visitor. The communities recognize the need to work together to invite travelers to the Radius region.
According to Rockport Analytics, tourism is one of the leading industries in the Radius region, accounting for $290.4 million in tourism spending and providing 3,930 jobs in 2017. With such a level of economic impact on the region, tourism serves as a large economic driver for jobs and quality of place initiatives.
Radius Indiana worked with Duane Knapp of BrandStrategy Inc. to develop “The Promise for Southern Indiana,” which is the branding for this initiative. Through visitor surveys, Knapp examined how travelers compared southern Indiana to several other regions throughout the Midwest, as well as how they viewed the Radius region itself. Based on the results, Knapp and the tourism strategy team were able to deliver the promise:
Radius’ Director of Tourism and Quality of Place Blaine Parker led a team of 10 committee members to create a unified tourism effort for the Radius region. The committee is made up of members of the region’s eight counties, the French Lick Resort and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The tourism strategy team met throughout 2018 to bring the idea of a region-wide joint tourism venture to life.
“Duane did an excellent job leading us through the process,” said Kevin Manley, executive director of the Dubois County Visitors Center and Tourism Commission. “We are very excited about our brand and brand promise and look forward to rolling it out in our region.”
Parker plans to meet with tourism businesses from the Radius counties this spring to hold teaching sessions on how to implement “Discover Southern Indiana” in their marketing efforts, as well as distribute learning guides. Parker hopes to have the new logo unveiled in communities throughout the region by this summer.
“This initiative was grassroots driven with the team being heavily involved in every step of the decision-making, from the consultant and the promise, to the logo and taglines,” Parker said. “It would not have been possible without this team.”