The historic city of Salem, Massachusetts, in conjunction with King Fish Media and other local organizations, recently announced the creation of the Haunted Passport, according to a press release. The Haunted Passport is an affinity program that will offer discounts to visitors of Salem, the nation’s premier Halloween destination. The program will provide additional marketing and increased business for local merchants beyond Halloween, however.
The passport program will run from October 1 to April 30 to encourage visitors to come to Salem and be part of America’s #1 Halloween celebration. But the program is also designed to build a yearlong relationship between visitors and Salem’s tourist attractions, cultural and historical sites, restaurants and retailers.
“I am pleased that the City is partnering with King Fish Media, a Salem company, to create, promote and execute the passport program,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said. “This is a great example of a public/private partnership that will benefit Salem residents, taxpayers and local businesses.”
“Last year over 100,000 visitors came to Salem in the month of October,” Driscoll said. “The city will use the money earned from the passport program to make the month of October more manageable from a public safety standpoint. It will also provide additional funds to offset the costs related to all of the Halloween related activities Salem hosts each year. More importantly, it gives us a chance to market and brand Salem as a year round destination to a family-friendly audience.”
Settled four years before Boston, Salem is the second oldest settlement in New England. While Salem has been long known as the “Witch City” due to the notable witch trials of 1692, Salem also played a prominent part in Revolutionary times and was an active leader of several Massachusetts’ industries. In the early part of the 19th century, Salem’s ships were pioneers in the India trade and opened up commerce with Africa, China, Russia, Japan and Australia. Today, Salem is a thriving city bustling with commerce, development, and hosts America’s largest Halloween celebration each October.
For local merchants, the Haunted Passport program is a unique chance to promote their business to new and existing customers via print, radio and the Internet for a very small investment. The Haunted Passport will be marketed and sold to families, young adults and others who enjoy Halloween in Salem. Many of the passport’s offerings extend into April 2008, encouraging visitors to return as regular customers. Benefits of the passport include discounts to major attractions, free giveaways, contest drawings and discounts on meals and retail purchases.
“We are very proud to partner with Salem, our home for the past six years,” said King Fish Media President Cameron Brown. “This is a great opportunity for us to apply our expertise in customer relationship marketing to benefit our own community. We believe this program will be equally beneficial for the city, local merchants and visitors.”
Local businesses have embraced the idea of the passport program, with nearly 50 having already signed up to participate. Some of the participants include: The Salem Wax Museum, Spellbound Tours, The New England Pirate Museum, The Witch Dungeon Museum, The Salem Waterfront Hotel, The Witch Museum, The Peabody Essex Museum, A Passage to India, The Witch History Museum, City View Trolley, Salem Witch Village, The Boston Hot Dog Company, and Harbor Sweets.
The passports will be sold online beginning August 15 at www.hauntedpassport.com and cost $13.00 each; Children under the age of 13 are covered by an adult holding a valid Haunted Passport.
PR Newswire, “Salem, Massachusetts Launches ‘Haunted Passport’ Program for Halloween Visitors and Local Merchants”
King Fish Media, URL: www.kingfishmedia.com