Following a tremendously busy first quarter that culminated in historically high visitation in March, the Bradenton area is now looking ahead to a new season of travel this summer.
While many welcome the respite during this slower season, now is the time that members of the tourism industry must shift their focus to new efforts geared toward keeping busy and maintaining their customer base through the fall.
The good news for businesses concerned about the drop-off in visitation during the summer is that the destination’s tourism marketing team at the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau has been preparing for this time period for months, knowing that its industry partners need the most support from late spring until visitation picks up again in the fall.
In short, our team has been working to create balance: ensuring a moderate, sustainable influx of tourism year-round, while maintaining the quality of life for our residents. A true challenge, but one we feel is attainable with consistent communication, creativity and partnerships.
Leading up to the summer months, we have ramped up its marketing efforts and promotional initiatives (after minimizing its activity ahead of high season in winter and spring).
During the past few months, it has shifted the markets it is targeting through advertising, social media and public relations, with markets such as Orlando taking precedence over top feeder markets in the Northeast outside of their visitation season.
International visitors have also returned as a target as summer and fall mark the most popular times they visit the United States for vacations.
Domestic marketing messaging continues to be geared toward families this summer, with the goal of generating more extended weekend getaways and summer trips before the school year begins.
As fall approaches, messaging will shift to attract couples since they make up the majority of visitors seen in the Bradenton Area once children go back to school.
Each year, the BACVB does all it can to help ensure its tourism industry partners remain busy and profitable in the summer and fall. Thankfully, even though these months are historically the slowest for the destination, our offerings – from accommodations, beaches, dining, arts and culture and more – have allowed us to sustain a consistent level of year-round visitation, which is vital to the quality of life for all residents living in the Bradenton area.
Our integrated marketing plan is grounded in extensive research provided on an on-going basis by our research firm, Research Data Services. And, we are confident that we have a solid plan in place to ensure our industry experiences great success and economic impact through the end of 2018.
Industry partners interested in reviewing our plan and learning how they too can shift their marketing objectives and audiences in the upcoming months should not hesitate to reach out to my team.
Elliott Falcione is the executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and can be reached at Elliott.Falcione@BACVB.com or 941-729-9177, ext. 3940.