2011 Annual Visitation Shows Positive Growth
Collier County tourism promoters launched a new travel advertising campaign in the New York and Chicago areas last week to welcome the start of the winter season. Staff and marketing partners from the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) reported on the new northern marketing efforts at the January 23 Collier County Tourist Development Council meeting.
Branded with the tagline “That’s why they call it Paradise,” the highlight of the Chicago campaign is the strategic placement of digital billboards throughout the Chicago area. The boards feature a thermometer display providing the real-time temperature of the Paradise Coast. In New York, commuters are being treated to images of the area’s white sand beaches as a contrast to their current winter conditions. The campaigns also include television, online ads with embedded video and social media components. The goal is to drive traffic to the destination website,www.paradisecoast.com, and ultimately increase hotel bookings. Since the campaign began on January 16 traffic to the website has increased 150%.
“The New York and Chicago areas are important markets for us, and in today’s marketplace, many people make travel decisions on the spur of the moment based upon a marketing message that resonates with them at that particular time,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We want to remind them that when they are looking to escape the harsh Northeast and Midwest winters, they can hop a short flight and be in paradise.”
Wert released calendar year visitation numbers for Collier showing a 7.7% increase for 2011 over 2010. The CVB’s research partner, Research Data Services, calculates that 1,489,900 people stayed in hotels or short term vacation lodging in 2011. Direct visitor expenditures for 2011 were $865,184,700, an increase of 10.6%, and the annual total economic impact from tourism was $1, 289, 990, 388, also an increase of 10.6%. The year 2011 ended on a high note, with a year-over-year 15.3% increase in visitors and a 19.7% increase in direct spending for the month of December.
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing and management organization for Collier County, Fla., and is funded entirely by the Collier County tourist development tax. For more information about Paradise Coast, visit www.paradisecoast.com.