Bed tax collections up 15%

By: 
Nov. 25, 2010

Peggy Heiser has been promoting tourism for five years in Flagler County.

The Tourist Development Council held its quarterly meeting to provide an update and to map out future plans to promote bringing visitors to Flagler County. The meeting, dubbed “Coffee and Conversation,” took place Thursday, Nov. 18.

Peggy Heiser, vice president of tourism for the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates, said bed-tax collections were up nearly 15% for the most recent year.

“We are very pleased and excited about the positive results and have a great plan in store for 2011 to continue the forward momentum in tourism here in Flagler County,” said Heiser, who has been marketing the county since November 2005.

According to Heiser, average occupancy is up 13.2% year-to-date, the average daily rate is up 2% year-to-date and the year-to-date demand is up by nearly 15%. County Commissioner Milissa Holland, who is also the chair of the TDC, said that despite significant challenges stemming from a down economy, the TDC has seen an increase in visitor stays.

“These results are a direct reflection of our ongoing efforts to grow our tourism industry here in Flagler County,” Holland said. “We will need to continue to spotlight the importance of our brand and its relevance to the overall vision that we have set forth.

“It’s truly a testament to the hard work and dedication of all involved.”

Social media moves

In addition to promoting www.visitflagler.org, Heiser said Web traffic and promoting the social media has played an integral role.

Laura Gamba was recently promoted to partner services and promotions manager. She’ll help with the social-networking media. Traffi c to the site has increased by 45%, and it has added 5,000 social-media followers.

Heiser and Gamba also welcomed a new staff member: Karen Edmonson, who is the administrative assistant.