Presidents Message

In a time of year rooted in reflection and gratitude, I am reminded of a well-executed, successful year thanks to the Visit Pensacola staff, the board of directors and loyal partners. Subsequently, we are at a time of the year when critical decisions are made in the hospitality and tourism industry which is why it is important to embrace our resources and our relationships.

This past week, Jeff Shusterman of Majority Opinion Research presented the 2017 Market Perception Study. The study provides key insights into visitor and area perception. To download the full report, click here.

Florida Tourism DayWith the legislature kicking off in January, our organization will be participating in Florida Tourism Day at the Capitol on January 17. This is a time for us to speak with our delegates about important issues in the hospitality industry in our own communities. I am excited to convey that voice and I invite you to join me.

For more information on Florida Tourism Day at the Capitol and to register, click here

Florida Tourism Leadership SummitAdditionally, this week, key members of our staff are attending the Visit Florida Leadership Summit 2017. Serving in leadership positions across the state I will sit on Visit Florida’s Global Media committee, Nicole Stacey, Director of Marketing and Communications will sit on the Global Communications committee and Jennifer Jackson Keating, Director of Sales and Services, will sit on the Visit Florida’s Meeting’s committee. Together we will participate in conversations centered around the future of Visit Florida’s brand development, co-op marketing programs and domestic and international strategies.

Additionally, I will serve as this year’s chair of the Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. FADMO serves as the single unifying voice for all of Florida’s destination marketing organizations, providing insight and direction as we enter a new millennium marked by an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace. Organized in 1996, FADMO strives to increase the overall effectiveness of Florida destination marketing organization efforts. It’s stated mission is to provide cooperative action to enhance and encourage the growth of Florida’s convention and visitor’s industry through promoting tourism industry education, enhancing professionalism, facilitating the cooperative exchange of information between Florida DMOs, developing an awareness of legislative issues and unifying the state’s DMO industry through public relations.

Nicole Stacey will also serve in an additional leadership role throughout the state as the VP of Annual Conference for the Florida Public Relations Association.  FPRA is the oldest public relations organization in the United States and its members represent a variety of different organizations. As a statewide Association, FPRA boasts nearly 1,500 professional and student members, all which make up the 16 professional and 12 student chapters. FPRA provides a variety of services, benefits and opportunities dedicated to the success of its public relations professionals from continuing education, professional accreditation, monthly professional development programs, professional recognition and annual conference.

The Visit Pensacola team is excited to be the voice of our community and to bring back imperative information. I will be giving an update at our December board of directors meeting on December 20, 2017, at 3 p.m. at Jacksons Steakhouse.  Immediately following, we will hold our 2017 Holiday Party and I’d like to cordially extend an invitation to you to attend in fellowship with other industry partners, staff and directors. I wish all of you a holiday season filled with warmth and good cheer!

Steve Hayes

Visit Pensacola President



Sales and Services

As a result of numerous leads and referrals, Visit Pensacola generated $298,000 to the economy in Escambia County which included 678 booked room nights and four future sales. As a partner of Visit Pensacola, your business is a priority when it comes to hosting area guests. At the beginning of the fiscal year 2018, we rolled out new partner packages aimed at providing a better partner experience, but that would additionally increase exposure to visitors.  Watch the video below to better understand the benefits of being a Visit Pensacola partner and click here to see the new partnerships opportunities that are available.

Download our Partnership Package Brochure

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest partners:

Spiro’s Gyros

The FUN Store

Hemingway’s Island Grill on Pensacola Beach

2018 HRT Meetings & Tentative Topics

All dates are on a Tuesday @ 11:30 a.m. unless noted otherwise, locations are TBD

January 23, 2018: Mardi Gras & Snowbird Roost/Visit Pensacola Research Recap/Winter Escape Card

February 20, 2018: Tall Ships Pensacola/ St. Paddy’s Day Activities and McGuire’s Run

March 20, 2018: National Park Service (Ferry Update) / Skills U.S.A. / Easter Events

April 17, 2018: Sea Turtle Awareness / Pensacola International Airport Update


May 2018 - National Tourism Week (no HRT) ADD NTW DATES

June 19, 2018: Public Safety Awareness (Hurricane Season) / Blue Angels Weekend

July 17, 2018: Visit Pensacola Certified Tourism Ambassador Program/ UWF Dr. Assante

August 21, 2018: Visit Pensacola Research Recap/ Labor Day Activities


September 18, 2018: Hospitality Business Development / Entracon

October 16,2018: End of Summer Social @ 3:30 p.m.

November 20, 2018: Community Awareness

December 18, 2018: Christmas Gift Exchange

What is the Hospitality Round Table and How Can It Help You?

The Hospitality Round Table, also know as HRT, is a monthly gathering of industry members to come together to connect and discuss important topics in the community.


Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Coast

Tall ShipIn preparation for the Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Coast Series, Visit Pensacola welcomed Special Events Coordinator, Michelle Sarra to the team. Sarra will be the leading point of contact for the event and will spearhead sponsorship opportunities. To learn more about Tall Ships America, click here.

Trade Shows

Visit Pensacola frequently attends industry trade shows to promote the community and bring business to the Pensacola Bay Area. Partners are invited to accompany the organization to share in the business venture.

In November, key members of our sales and services attended DEMA, the largest international, dive-trade-only show held in the United States. Bay Breeze Aquatics and Dive Center and U.S. Viking Diving attended the show which resulted in several scheduled group dive trips for 2018.


The sales and services team will be attending the below travel and trade shows in January. For more information future trade shows or if you are interested in attending, please contact the Destination Sales Manager Lori Coppels, at

Florida Huddle (Ft. Lauderdale) $600 (January 9-11, 2018)

Visit Florida’s International Trade Show provides appointments with international tour operators; FIT, individual travelers and leisure groups (1 spaces available)

New York Times Travel Show (New York) - $400 (January 26-28, 2018)

Travel/trade, media, consumers (4 spaces available)


Visitor Information Centers and Visitor Services

Visitor Information Centers serve as an all-encompassing visitor service center and welcome location. We encourage you to send your guests to one of the area centers to gather key information, discounts, local merchandise and fun activities.


Visitor Information Center Counts


Pensacola: 3,864 
Perdido Key: 1,659
Pensacola Beach: 1,219

States with largest registered visitors:

Pensacola: Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois
Perdido Key: Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas
Pensacola Beach: Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, Alabama

International registered visitors:

Pensacola: Germany, Australia
Perdido Key: New Zealand, Brazil, Germany, France, Canada
Pensacola Beach: Germany, Canada, United Kingdom 

Upcoming Events:

December 15: Holiday Saving Card campaign begins

Visit Pensacola is excited to welcome Winter Escapees. Savings cards will be available December 15 at all three Visitor Information Center locations at no cost to travelers. We would like to thank the participating businesses for providing the visitors a great sampling of the offerings in our area.

December 18-21: Holiday crafts, photo booth and treats

The Pensacola Visitor Information Center is in Winter Wonderland mode complete with local products in the gift shop, holiday crafts, Christmas treats and a Christmas photo booth.

Photo booth

January 18: FREE Beach Bum Trolley for tourism personnel

Beach Bum Trolley will once again be offering a free narrated trolley tour through historic Downtown Pensacola for tourism personnel. Visit Pensacola will be providing more information about signing up for the tour soon.

Marketing and Communications

Tis the season for sharing Pensacola near and far. The Visit Pensacola Team has been busy promoting the area in Canada and Nashville and giving writers from across the country a Foo Foo experience.

Visit Pensacola had the opportunity to partner with Visit Florida and took to the streets of Toronto to showcase moments of sunshine to encourage travel from Florida’s largest international market.


To add, Visit Pensacola partnered with Cat County at the 2017 Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. National country music recording artists went live from the Visit Pensacola Sandbox and spoke about their positive, personal experiences in Pensacola.


Once the team was back on the ground in Pensacola, eight writers were hosted in conjunction with Foo Foo Festival over the course of four days. The weekend was nothing, but positive as fresh Gulf Coast seafood was introduced, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and all the creative happenings of Foo Foo Festival. A continuous steady return of positive press is being collected that includes articles in Huffington Post and StyleBlueprint. Partner mentions, stories and assists with FAM trips are continually documented in the CRM database.

Through a monthly ad spend of $148,375, Showcase Pensacola in conjunction with Visit Pensacola was able to generate an estimated trackable revenue of $1,709,400. That same advertising boasted 2,194 flight bookings, 1,642 lodging bookings and 1,211 confirmed arrivals to the Pensacola Bay Area. Each month at our board of director meetings we share our latest in digital advertising and provide previews of what our team is showcasing outside the destination. Click here to see our provided one-sheeter of information.

Visit Pensacola’s website is a valuable tool that offers partners an interactive, controllable platform. Through the extranet, partners have the control to update website listings, post special offers, add events and measure listing activity. Restaurant partners can now add menus as well. Watch the video below for a listing tutorial.



The Visit Pensacola blog and social channels are designed with the visitor in mind. From beautiful images that resonate at the inspiration stage of planning to articles that showcase current events and insider tips, we encourage you to follow and share to give your guests articulated information on the Pensacola Bay Area experience. This month, our team went Live in the Kitchen with local award-winning chefs. To see the full recap, watch the video below.



Be sure to check out the partner extranet and see just how much you have helped us this year. Follow us on social media and attend one of our bi-monthly marketing committee meetings to be a part of the action and help shape the Visit Pensacola experience.

Cat Country