The Tourist Development Council’s new marketing plan and budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year was approved 3-2 Wednesday, by the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners.
The plan, which focuses the county’s marketing around five distinct areas, was recommended by an outside consultant and spurred by Georgia Turner, vice president of tourist development at the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates. It came before commissioners at their regular meeting.
The proposed budget allocates $298,583 to the council. District 1 Commissioner Alan Peterson voiced concerns about increases in the budget for rent, utilities and furniture costs for the TDC in comparison to last year’s budget.
“In today’s economy, one wonders why rent would increase that much,” he said. “If we give somebody money or give a government entity money, they’ll spend it all so they don’t have to give it back.”
These increases are necessary because the TDC needs to move buildings, said District 2 Commissioner Milissa Holland. The TDC can no longer fit in the Chamber of Commerce’s offices, and will be moving next door, because the new budget adds one staff member to the TDC, who will work to fill hotel rooms during off-seasons for travel and sports.
“Fifteen percent of all employed in Flagler County come from the tourism industry,” Holland said. “(The TDC) is very important to our economic success.”
The TDC’s plan will also rebrand marketing efforts for Flagler County to “Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches.”
Commission Chairwoman Barbara Revels questioned the appropriateness of this brand.
“The limited visitor research done so far says that the primary reason people visit is for a beach experience,” she said. “But Palm Coast doesn’t have beaches, and there are a number of other ways we could go with this.”
Holland noted the importance of keeping the name “Palm Coast” in marketing campaigns. Area hotels — including Hammock Beach Resort — have Palm Coast addresses and market themselves accordingly, she said.
Despite pushback, the plan and budget passed by one vote, and the TDC’s new strategic plan will take effect Oct. 1.
The plan focuses on repositioning the marketing efforts to match the abovementioned named change, seeking third-party endorsements for Flagler County, product development, web-based and social media marketing and visitor services.
It will also include a new Hospitality Association, which will work to fill hotel rooms year-round.
Currently 0 Responses
23 Diabetes Support Group
9:00 am - 10:00 am
23 People Who Need People Club Meeting
23 Peoples Social Club
High School students donate to breast cancer patients
The Flagler Palm Coast High School Future Business Leaders of America class donated $580 to Florida Hospital Flagler Foundation’s breast cancer fund, which provides screening mammograms, diagnostic studies and education to local qualified women who are uninsured and seeking assistance.
Florida Hospital Flagler gives $2,000 in scholarships
Florida Hospital Flagler's medical staff donated $2,000 in scholarships to four graduating high school students.
Premier: Rotary of Flagler County gets thumbs up
Also, Club President Rick Staly was recognized with a "Well Done" Award.