Arizona native and Scottsdale resident Kathy Anderson is celebrating 30 years in the travel and tourism industry.
Specializing in “Shopping Tourism,” Ms. Anderson, president of Anderson Retail Tourism Marketing, has used her marketing expertise to build her company around “strategic tourism marketing programs” for shopping centers, retailers and restaurants throughout the U.S.
According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Travel and Tourism, shopping and dining are among the top three activities done by domestic and international travelers, contributing to a destination’s tax revenue.
Ms. Anderson’s began in the travel and tourism industry as fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue in Phoenix, according to a press release.
In the late 80’s when resorts such as the Ritz Carlton and The Phoenician opened, she noticed that visitors to the new resorts, including existing properties such as the Arizona Biltmore, would include shopping on travel itineraries, contributing additional sales to Saks revenue.
She began packaging special amenities and services for resort guests to increase awareness and visitation to the store, the release said.
After leaving Saks Fifth Avenue in 1990, she assumed the role as marketing director for Scottsdale Fashion Square, managed at that time by Westcor Properties.
As part of the property’s first redevelopment and expansion, she developed the center’s tourism program, creating marketing partnerships not only with local resorts, but also travel professionals in the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
She attended trade shows in Mexico City, Berlin, London and throughout the U.S. with the Arizona Office of Tourism and Scottsdale CVB to generate pre-arrival awareness, traffic, and ultimately increased sales to Scottsdale Fashion Square’s retailers and restaurants.
She received several awards from the Scottsdale CVB and the International Council of Shopping Centers, added the release.
Later, she was a marketing director with The Rouse Company’s Arizona Center, where she attained a stronger knowledge of the group and convention business in downtown Phoenix, working closely with the Phoenix CVB and Convention Center.
During this time, the U.S. Department of Commerce began research that indicated the importance of retail sales to shopping destinations along with tax revenue generated by international visitors.
As a result, Ms. Anderson started her own company, AZ Travel Marketing, which later became Anderson Retail Tourism Marketing, the release said.
The company specializes in developing and implementing tourism marketing programs and public relations for shopping center developers and their tenants, the release detailed.
Her first national account was with The Rouse Company’s 18 festival marketplaces in Boston, NYC, Baltimore, Miami, New Orleans and other key travel destinations.
Co-founder of the Shop America Alliance, an organization promoting tourism at over 200 shopping centers and retailers nationwide, she assisted in the development of Shop America Tours in 2001 and added Fashion Show Las Vegas to the ARTM client roster.
Her company was responsible for integrating The Rouse Company, which was acquired by General Growth Properties (now owned by Brookfield Retail Properties), and merging the companies’ tourism programs.
An award-winning tourism campaign branded as “America’s Premier Shopping Places,” representing 24 properties, which was recognized with a MAXI award by the International Council of Shopping Centers, resulted, the release noted.
ARTM created another award-winning tourism program for Westfield San Francisco Centre, resulting in the development of a national tourism campaign for select U.S. Westfield centers and airport retail, branded as the “Westfield Travel Collection.”
Ms. Anderson, an active member in a variety of retail and travel industry organizations, was also recognized as “Shopping Tourism Person of The Year” by the Shop America Alliance.
She founding the USA Luxury Shopping Consortium, comprised of 10 luxury shopping centers and retail districts in key travel destinations throughout the country, and her company, ARTM, helped develop a global tourism program for a mixed-use development, Fifth + Broadway Nashville, scheduled to open in 2020.
Her career has taken her to 23 countries on four continents as well as 34 states in the U.S., where she maintains business relationships with key travel trade and media.
Ms. Anderson holds a degree in Fashion merchandising and a certified marketing director designation from the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Married 40 years with two adult children, one of whom is also in the hospitality industry in Scottsdale and the other is in the shopping center industry in Las Vegas, the release added.