Sunshine and summertime are officially upon us which brings the excitement of the peak season. Seasonal flight service from Austin, St. Louis, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia are beginning to roll in and I encourage you to welcome these travelers as some of them may be first time guests. First impressions can make it or break it in the tourism industry, so we should all be putting our best foot forward.  

As a gulf coast destination, I’d like to take a moment to focus in on disaster preparation. Over the past few weeks, our team has been taking the time to get up-to-date on best practices and making sure that we are prepared. Visit Florida has several available resources that I suggest you review here. For local preparation, tune into MyEscambia for official information and updates. Additionally, Visit Florida in partnership with Expedia will be doing the following:

  • Expedia updates a dedicated crisis landing page to help affected travelers find accommodations and update their travel plans. Governor Scott will alert residents and travelers during a crisis to the following URL: www.expedia.com/florida.
  • Expedia lodging team will work with lodging partners to monitor availability and help maintain and promote fair market pricing. Please reference our contact list if you are unsure who to contact for your destination.
  • When a crisis is over, Expedia will remove any information about the crisis from the dedicated landing page.

 Additionally, I’d like to ask that whoever the best point of contact is should we need to connect during a crisis, that you email our Director of Marketing and Communications, here

 Finally, this past month many of you received a first look at the Northwest Florida Tourism Council initiative at the DestinationNEXT workshop. The Northwest Florida Tourism Council has embarked on an eight-county regional collaboration designed to position North West Florida as the primer region for natural, beach adventure within the Southeastern United States. The council, with the help of local shareholders and Visit Florida, is creating the pillars of a regional community aimed to transform the adventure traveler; add authenticity to the Florida brand; and build relationships with new visitors and local stakeholders alike. As it accumulates, we will be sharing valuable data to position Pensacola in these new marketing efforts. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me personally here. Until then, enjoy the summer tourism season.

Hospitably,

Steve Hayes, Visit Pensacola President

Marketing & Communications

Visit Pensacola has been hard at work hosting media familiarization groups from all over the world this past month. Visit Florida helped arrange two FAMs, one a group of German writers taking a tour of undiscovered Florida, and another a health and wellness-based FAM. Additionally, we hosted KylerandMad, a YouTube influencer family with over 1.6 million subscribers. You can view their video of Pensacola here, it has over 200K views!

 

Fam

 

Tell Your Story

After attending the Public Relations Society of American conference in New Orleans this past month, the Visit Pensacola team has the opportunity to hear from media outlets throughout the country. After gaining valuable insight, we’d like your help in telling the Pensacola Experience. Pitching to media is micro-targeted, focusing now on niche marketing. Media no longer desire an overview story but are looking for unique angles that haven’t been told before. If you have a story that you’d like us to help tell, click here

 

Branding the Pensacola Experience

The launch of the Pensacola Experience has included many new creative looks. We’d like to invite our partners to get involved by sharing photos from our asset library and hashtagging #experiencepcola. You can view the library, here.

Couple paddleboarding

The 2018 Insider Guide is Ready for Pickup!

2018 Visitor Guide CoverThe 2018 Insider Guide, formerly known as the Visitor Guide, is now ready for pickup. Readers take note to notice the fresh new design that highlights the Pensacola Experience. Fresh colors are met with a smaller guide design that is easier to carry and personal stories written by locals. The guide now includes more neighborhoods, fresh stories and a business development section.

 

 

Sales & Services

Visit Pensacola is excited to announce that we are hiring! We currently have several open positions that you can view here.

Partner Listing Update

Beginning July 1, Visit Pensacola will be distributing Partner Listing Progress Reports. These Quarterly reports track individual partner listing activity from the Visit Pensacola website that includes listing views, book now links, website click-throughs, and coupon views.

Progress Report

IPWIPW: Bringing the World to America Representatives from Innisfree Hotels and LBA Properties attended IPW in Denver with Visit Pensacola May 21 – 24.  Having properties attend any show with Visit Pensacola is beneficial and even more so for IPW. Not only is it an opportunity for our accompanying partners to become more knowledgeable about attracting the international market, it’s also an opportunity to introduce Pensacola and our region as a new destination to the, more than 70 countries represented at IPW. More than 40 appointments with international and domestic tour operators and media were held during the marketplace sales event plus additional meetings were held during the many networking opportunities.

Save the date:  IPW 2019 will be held in Anaheim, CA June 1-5, 2019.

Visit Florida Plans to Revamp Florida Huddle & Florida Encounter

Visit Florida and nearly 20 of their partnering DMO’s, including Visit Pensacola, formed advisory groups to discuss ways to improve two of Visit Florida’s largest sales events, Florida Encounter and Florida Huddle.

Florida Encounter is Visit Florida’s meeting planner appointment show which pairs DMO’s, hotels and attractions with meeting planners that book business in Florida. Most of the meeting planners that attended Florida Encounter were large market meeting planners, which Pensacola is not. Based on suggestions from the advisory group, attendees to the 2018 Florida Encounter will experience a redesigned show floor that includes a small meeting village and networking lounge designed to bring small market meeting planners and small market destinations together.

Save the date: Nov. 28 – 30, 2018, in Bonita Springs, Fla.

Florida Huddle is Visit Florida’s international travel show which pairs international and domestic travel planners that book travel to Florida, with Florida DMO’s, hoteliers and attractions. While this is a trade event Visit Pensacola attends each year, there’s always room for improvements as was discussed in Tampa on June 8, during a four-hour Florida Huddle Advisory Group meeting.  Though we won’t see many changes in the upcoming 2019 event, Florida Huddle 2020 promises exciting new initiatives that will showcase each destination and region making it easier for international operators to discover adventures in new destinations. 

Save the date: January 8 – 10, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Welcome New Partners

 

Visitor Center Information

The Visitor Information Centers continue to serve as an all-encompassing guest services 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. Monthly, the centers host events that include live drawings and meet and greets, artistic popups and so much more!

Walk-ins:       

Pensacola: 3,228          
Perdido Key: 1,677     
Pensacola Beach: 2,072    

Personal Assists:

Pensacola: 1,223
Perdido Key: 1,569
Pensacola Beach 

Telephone Assists:

Pensacola: 574
Perdido Key: 78
Pensacola Beach: 338

States with largest registered visitors:

Pensacola: Florida, Alabama, Texas, Minnesota, Georgia 
Perdido Key: Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana
Pensacola Beach: Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama  

International registered visitors:

Pensacola:  Mexico, Germany, Canada
Perdido Key:  Switzerland, Germany, Japan
Pensacola Beach: Canada, Germany, United Kingdom

 

 

Upcoming Meetings & Events

Grant Committee

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 2:00 PM
Location: Pensacola Sports, 101 West Main St.

Finance Committee

Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 1:00 PM
Location: Pensacola Sports, 101 W. Main Street

Marketing Committee

Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 3:30 PM
Location: Ashton Inn & Suites, 910 N. Navy Blvd.

Board of Directors Meeting -  CANCELED 

Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2018 - 3:00 PM
Location: UWF Conference Center, 11000 University Parkway