Message from the President

This past week’s devastation has been an all too familiar feeling for many of us. It wasn’t that long ago that our community was under water and dealing with the destruction mother nature left behind. As the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey continues to unfold, it is critical that we continue to reach out and help our neighbors. After all, the Texas community is family to the Pensacola Bay Area. As one of our largest travel markets its residents have been coming to our area for years. You know these people, their children have grown up in your hotels, celebrated birthdays in your restaurants and they have continued to return year after year.

To our partners that have donated, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We would like to encourage you to keep donating by texting HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross or by visiting http://ow.ly/FwUL30eQkdU

Steve Hayes, President

The Tall Ships of America are coming to Pensacola!

We are excited to announce that we, along with other community entities will be bringing the Tall Ships America to Pensacola, April 12 – 16! These vessels are history and education based and provide an experience, unlike anything we have had in our area. This unique event, which involves 4 cities in the Gulf of Mexico, will bring 4-6 tall mast sailing ships to our city bringing opportunity for residents, businesses and visitors to enjoy. Visit Pensacola will be leading the efforts to develop and run the event. However, we will not be able to successfully execute without our partners. Our host committee held their first meeting this week and know there may be a few others we missed. If you or someone in your organization would like to be a part of our planning team, let us know! In the following months, we will be announcing sponsorship and volunteer opportunities. We foresee this being an event to remember and one that we hope to see back in our city in future years.

We are now accepting nominations for two openings on the Visit Pensacola Board of Directors Fiscal Year for 2018.

Serving on the Board of Directors is a rewarding personal and professional experience. It allows your voice to be heard and help shape the direction Visit Pensacola takes in our community as well as the tourism industry.

The open positions are for representatives in the following categories:

At – Large
Sports & Recreation

The chosen representatives of each position will serve three-year terms and will be expected to attend our monthly board meetings. If you are interested in serving on the Visit Pensacola Board, email Steve Hayes or click here for our Board of Directors Application.

Sales

The team recently gave a presentation to the NCUR site visit delegates at the VOICES museum, along with the Mayor and other key community figures. The National Council of Undergraduate Research will be selecting the destination for its 2021 conference in October. Visit Pensacola has worked closely with the University of West Florida over the last month to assist with the conference application, coordinate the Pensacola site visit, and make the destination presentation to the delegates. It will be the first time for NCUR to be held in Pensacola if we are selected. NCUR estimates between 4k-5k attendees for the conference that would be held in April 2021.

The Visit Pensacola Certified Ambassador Program is currently in development with UWF’s Global Hospitality and Tourism Department. This exciting venture between Visit Pensacola and the University will offer a free training program to front line staff, partners, and locals. The program will consist of half day classroom style sessions and visits to attractions. The program, which has been in the works since the beginning of the year, should be ready for its first class in November. Classes will be offered quarterly in 2018.

Partners can attend shows with us at a significant discount, but space is limited. Please contact Lori Coppels for upcoming opportunities in 2017-2018 at lcoppels@visitpensacola.com or 850-432-4209.

Upcoming Shows:

Visit Pensacola’s Sales team attended the CONNECT conference this month in New Orleans. The meeting planner show was very successful with 33 appointments and 5 RFP requests onsite. We also received a follow up site visit from a planner the week after the event. We look forward to working with lodging partners to satisfy the RFPs and continue to promote Pensacola as a meetings destination to new businesses.

Our team will be attending the Small Market Meetings Conference in Indian Bend, Indiana next month. This appointment style show specifically targets small meetings, which is a niche for our destination.

In October, our staff will be attending a new show in Daytona Beach. The “BIG Show,” Boomers in Groups, is a specialty category show which offers small meetings markets like Pensacola opportunities for new business. The BIG Show is put on by the Small Market Meetings Conference which specialized in smaller group meetings. Attending this show will give Pensacola greater exposure to new group business.

Partner opportunity - DEMA (Diving, Equipment & Marketing, Association) November 1-4, Orlando – Visit Pensacola will have a 10x20 booth allowing space for two partners to each have their own credenza from which they will be able to sell dive trips, scuba lessons, logo-wear, etc. Contact Lori Coppels for details. lcoppels@visitpensacola.com.

Marketing

The Marketing and Communications team is full steam ahead in our planning for 2018. Growing our relationships nationally and locally are our top priority. We encourage our partners to share your good news with us and help us continue promoting our destination by using #explorepcola and #visitpensacola on your social handles. Your guests are invited to visit our website and download their free visitor guide. If you are looking to increase your partner engagement, we ask that you give us a call and let us help you! Click here for more information and be sure to call us for a full list of pricing opportunities. We have several opportunities available for partners and are here to ensure your listings are the best they can be for business!

Social Media + E-Marketing –

8 blog articles were posted on our site this month. We encourage you to look at them and feel free to share the information with your guests.
We continue to steadily see increases in our web traffic.

Unique website visitors 214,775

Email list sign up 783

June email eNewsletter open rate 23.4%

Our team is working to engage new influencers and writers to host in our area. We are thankful for all of our partners who engage and participate with these guests while they are here. Moving into Fall, our focus will be on culinary and festivals.

Recent media assists include working with – PNJ, HARO, AAA Home & Away, Wolf It Down with Tyler Florence, Southern Mommas, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Deveney PR, Lets Make a Deal

E! Total Divas, NBC The Voice, HGTV House Hunters 2

 

Accolades:

 

1. Business Insider -

11 Most Colorful Beaches in the World

2.     TripAdvisor Blog -

15 Best Honeymoon Destinations in the US According to TripAdvisor Reviewers

3.     Yahoo News –

8 of the Most Crowded US Beaches and Where to Go Instead

4.     Boston Globe –

Tip: Discover more with Florida Stories, an app-based walking tour series

5.     Only In Your State –

9 Inexpensive Road Trip Destinations in Florida That Won’t Break the Bank

You’ll Never Want To Leave This Massive Antique Mall In Florida

11 Main Streets in Florida that are pure magic during Christmas

6.     Top 20 Events in the Southeast Winners 

Frank Brown Int’l Songwriters and Pensacola Pelican Drop

Visitor Services

Our Pensacola information center is continuing to host a variety of events for our guests. Thank you, Irmi Presutto for displaying a sample of your work this month and allowing are visitors to enjoy your talent. If you haven’t stopped by for an in-house event, stop in and check out our new digs and new items made by locals in our specialty shop. They make for a great welcome gift to guests or a new piece of décor to take home.

We also participated in the Visit Florida I-10 Welcome Center Meet and Greet, where Tourism ambassador Janie Turney encouraged travelers to stop in Pensacola as they traveled farther east. It is our Tourism Ambassadors who make our jobs easy and help us to promote our slice of paradise. Our Visitor Ambassadors team is growing and we’ve put together a short video introducing them.

This month alone our center greeted 5,290 visitors, that’s 1,100 more than in 2016!

 

Partners, if you or your guests need information, please give us a call! We are currently proofing the newest tear sheet maps for our area. Once these arrive, stop in and pick up a pack to share with your guests.

 

Visitor Information Center Counts -

 

Walk-ins:       

Pensacola - 5,290                   YTD - 42,920

Perdido Key -   2,828               YTD - 22,403

Pensacola Beach - 2,523        YTD - 24,108

 

States with largest registered visitors:

Pensacola - Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, Louisiana 

Perdido Key - Arkansas, Mississippi, Ohio, Louisiana 

Pensacola Beach - Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia

 

International registered visitors:

Pensacola - France, Italy

Perdido Key - France, Germany, Australia

Pensacola Beach - Germany, Columbia, Spain