Discover Long Island Wins International Award for Best Use of Data in Destination Marketing

Earning the recognition for their strategic use of geo-location data to determine an emerging target market


LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK (December 2, 2022) Discover Long Island, the region’s official and only accredited destination marketing organization, has been named the winner of the global City Nation Place Award for “Best Use of Data” in destination marketing.   The winner was announced at the City Nation Place Global Conference in London on November 10, 2022, among a competitive slate of finalists from major markets including Denver, Houston, Indiana, Costa Rica, Madeira Islands, Portugal and Cape Town, South Africa. The Long Island tourism organization earned the recognition for their innovative use of Zartico geo-location data obtained through mobile devices, to identify and target a new market: Phoenix, Arizona. 

“A deceptively straightforward entry which actually demonstrates that the organization is truly data-driven – investing in deeper analysis and following the numbers to very successfully reach new markets,” City Nation Place judges noted of Discover Long Island’s submission for the award.  City Nation Place is a forum for placemaking leaders to collaborate and share best practices to generate sustainable tourism and economic development – hosting a prestigious annual awards competition and global conferences throughout the year.  The “Best Use of Data” award recognizes strategic use of data to refine and shape brand and/or marketing strategy through insights. 

“Winning this international award for ‘Best Use of Data’ underscores the value of our innovative new approach,” said Discover Long Island President & CEO, Kristen Reynolds, CDME.  “Utilizing geo-location data to determine our first long-haul market was not only successful but established a proven methodology for determining other emerging markets to guide future strategies.  We appreciate the international recognition for our strategic efforts and thank our partners at Zartico for their dedication to providing our industry with cutting-edge resources.”

"Zartico loves when our partners challenge us with new ideas on how to utilize geolocation and spend data. Discover Long Island's insights learned from their new markets are exactly what data lead destinations should aspire to achieve. Bravo DLI for the fantastic idea and willingness to learn,” said Zartico CMO, Ted Sullivan.

About the Strategy

Utilizing Zartico dashboards that track mobile geo-location as well as studying consumer spending habits, Discover Long Island confirmed Phoenix, Arizona residents were a close second to Californians for travelers with the strongest interest in Long Island’s assets.  Furthermore, RUF data indicated the type of traveler with the highest propensity to travel to Long Island is “Suburban Splendor” and Greater Phoenix area residents also fit that profile and household income. 

Since penetrating the California market is costly — and an influx of Californians permanently relocated to Greater Phoenix during the pandemic — Discover Long Island seized an opportunity to access an ideal audience in a condensed, inexpensive, and effective way and launched their first long-haul marketing campaign in Phoenix, Arizona in January 2022.  The $100,000 six-week campaign included 30-second commercials played across all local morning news affiliates as well as marketing served on locals’ mobile phones during three major events: Barrett Jackson Car Auction, The Phoenix Open and Devoured Culinary Festival.

Throughout the duration of the campaign and the months following, Discover Long Island worked with Zartico to analyze and track visitor movement and spending on Long Island to measure the impact of the campaign and determine its success.  Zartico and Discover Long Island had access to this information daily and could make decisions and adjustments accordingly.

Zartico data as of October 2022, outlined below, demonstrates that the campaign was successful, and that Discover Long Island successfully utilized data to determine an emerging market and inform a strategic new marketing campaign.   

The campaign produced the following results:

  • The share of visitors from Phoenix peaked at 8.5% in 2021.  By Spring 2022 the share of visitors from Phoenix reached 16%.
  • There was a 20.6% lift in visitation from the City of Phoenix in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • Average visitor spending from the Phoenix market increased 11% in 2022.
  • Average spending on accommodations increased 32% in 2022.
  • The total share of web sessions from the Phoenix market increased 1,150% from 2021 to 2022.
  • Phoenix visitors traveled all across Long Island to many new locations compared to Phoenix visitors in 2019-2021.
  • Phoenix visitors went to more locations per day than visitors from other top markets in 2022.
  • The Phoenix market spent more money on average in accommodations, retail and food than all other markets in 2022.
  • 100% of the Phoenix visitors in 2022 stayed in mid to upscale accommodations - the highest of any markets.



Discover Long Island is the region’s official destination marketing and leadership organization charged with furthering the destination’s thriving visitor economy, which saw record-breaking highs in 2019 generating $6.3 billion in visitor spending. The organization ensures Long Island’s coveted quality of life, thriving industries, and dynamic destination offerings are promoted on a global level, furthering economic development, and benefiting residents and businesses throughout the region.  Awarded “Best Social Media” in the nation by the US Travel Association, the organization produces engaging content featuring local businesses and attractions for their 10 social media channels which garner upwards of 10 million views.  Additionally, the organization hosts a popular YouTube series, Long Island TV, as well as the Long Island Tea podcast.  To learn more, please call 631-951-3900 or visit