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As the 2016-17 fiscal year comes to a close, I have begun to reflect on the past year. Through the leadership of our trusted board, Visit Pensacola has been able to accomplish so much and I am excited to see where that driving force takes us as we move into the new year.
To kick off the past fiscal year, we began by adding two members to our internal executive team. Through their leading forces and dedication, we ran a tight ship and have added an additional staff member and are about to extend an invitation to a fourth.
Jointly, our team linked with Showcase, our partners and the community, have spearheaded initiatives such as an improved grant recipient program, National Travel and Tourism Week, organizing research for brand redesign and a meeting facility, heightened partner packages, the launch of a new website, standing strong through Hurricane Irma and ensuring evacuees safety and finally the Tall Ships Challenge Gulf Coast 2018.
As a result of these initiatives and also largely from the participation of our industry partners, tourism in the Pensacola Bay Area is at an all-time high. Compared to last year, the number of visitors increased by 30%, visitor spending increased by 16%, visitor paid taxes increased by 10%, the average daily rate paid for accommodations increased 4%, and the average occupancy of lodging in Escambia County increased 5%.
The new year is going to be full of exciting challenges and there is no other community that I would rather greet them with than our very own. Our goal will be to continue growing our relationships with our community and our industry partners, sharing our story with our visitors as well as to our locals and getting them both involved in our destination. I am looking forward to working with you in the coming year and thank you for all that you do for Visit Pensacola.
Steve Hayes, President
Social Media + E-Marketing –
Twelve blog articles were posted on our site this month. We encourage you to look at them and share the information with your guests. https://www.visitpensacola.com/blog/
Our team is working to engage new influencers and writers to host in our area. In September, we hosted several publications in Pensacola – Points North ATL, Good Grit Magazine and Taste of the South Magazine. We are seeing quite a bit of social engagement from these publications and others while in the Pensacola Bay Area.
We took to the streets and have been compiling new culinary shots in our area. We’ve captured shots from Perdido Key, Pensacola Beach and Pensacola. These shots ranged from the freshest seafood, savory lamb chops, sushi and even hot dogs! Thank you to all of our local restaurants for working with the team and providing exceptional cuisine for these shots. We are excited to use these new photos in upcoming campaigns, social media, blogs and print opportunities.
This week, we are headed to Nashville, TN with four of Pensacola’s chefs to present a Taste of Pensacola to the Nashville media at the Country Music Hall of Fame. This event is an effort to show off our culinary and engage Nashville media in visiting Pensacola. Joining us will be Chef Dan Dunn, Chef Irv Miller, Chef Gus Silivos and Chef Billy Ballou. We will have live social media coverage during the event. These chefs will also be live on Nashville Today cooking up their favorite Gulf Coast Seafood. We have also partnered with the Nashville Predators and will be sponsoring their preseason game. A mullet toss competition will be at both events for a trip to win a vacation to Pensacola. We are excited about this event and hope to see a lasting partnership with our friends in Music City!
Recent media assists include working with – PNJ, HARO, The Lovely Grey (instagrammer), WEAR, FADMO, Connect Travel and Visit Florida PR
All partner mentions have been documented in our CRM database. If you are a partner and had a mention from one of our guests or in one of our blogs we have documented it to your account in the extranet. We could not do our jobs without our partners and are so thankful for the hospitality you provide to us!
Top 10 Posts by Total Engagement
Thrillist - The 21 Best Beach Bars in America (featuring the Flora-Bama)
SouthernLiving.com - Florida’s Best Off-Leash Dog Parks and Beaches (Bayview Dog Beach)
PNJ - Pensacola Beach, Gulf Islands Named Most Beautiful Place in Florida by national magazine
USA Today - Growing appetite for lionfish at restaurants helps clean Gulf reefs (Jackson’s)
NOLA.com - Best Gulf Coast beach getaway: 2017 NOLA.com Readers' Choice
Only In Your State - What You’ll Find Inside this Florida Bar is Unforgettable (McGuire’s)
Only In Your State - These 12 Amazing Breakfast Spots in Florida Will Make Your Morning Epic (Native Café)