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October 2021 VCB Newsletter

Matanzas Pass Preserve, Fort Myers Beach, Sept. 27

From the bureau

Samantha Brown to headline Nov. 9 Annual Meeting

This is the big event! Make plans now to attend our Tourism Outlook Annual Meeting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, at Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa.

We’re excited to announce that our keynote speaker will be none other than Samantha Brown. You may recall that she and the crew from her PBS travel show, “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love,” visited the destination in 2020 for an episode that aired earlier this year. It will be wonderful to see her again – and she is looking forward to seeing you!

Samantha Brown

Along with sales and marketing plans for 2022, we will be giving everyone a sneak peek of our new brand campaign, consumer website, visitor guide and more. 

Plus, who will be the winner of this year’s Junonia Award? The honor will go to someone who has positively impacted Lee County’s tourism community by demonstrating unique capabilities, leadership, commitment and dedication. The award is named for the junonia, a treasured shell known for its rarity and exceptional quality.

There is so much to celebrate and we look forward to being with you on Nov. 9.  Attendance, lunch and parking is complimentary, but seating is limited so please RSVP below. You won’t want to miss it!

RSVP TO ANNUAL MEETING
 
Executive Director
 
 

 

Industry Partner News

RSW expansion project to begin this month

Here we grow! The Lee County Board of Port Commissioners has authorized the construction of the Terminal Expansion Project at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). The project will focus on improving the airport’s efficiency by consolidating and streamlining security checkpoints, adding concession space and providing passengers more amenities and options.

The RSW Terminal Expansion Project is set to begin in this month and construction is planned for three years.

RSW PROJECT DETAILS

In the news

How accessible is that heavy door?

How to adjust a commercial door closer

Here is a simple and free idea from TravelAbility to make your place of business more accessible.

Travel Ability

Have you ever encountered a really heavy door? The one that takes a lot of strength to pull it open and slams behind you? For people who are disabled, these doors can be a struggle. 

Here’s where you, as a business owner or advocate, can help. Grab an Allen wrench, watch this quick video, and make a difference to someone with a disability today. 

Thank you for your support of our vision to make Lee County more accessible.

Lee County News

Guests First Customer Service Training begins Oct. 12

Guests First is a free educational program for Lee County hospitality employees that offers customer service skills training to front-line and management professionals. The sessions are interactive and original. They offer a unique opportunity to be honest, create self-awareness of our interactions with others and have fun during the process.

GUESTS FIRST SCHEDULE

Domestic sales activities

Rotating photos include:

  • (Photos 1-2) Aug. 29-Sept. 1: Betsy Bush and Erin Lester, VCB, participate in one-on-one meeting planner appointments and networking events at Connect Association & Corporate, Tampa. More than 2,000 people attended.
  • (Photos 3-4) Aug. 29-Sept. 1: Jerry Terp, VCB, met one-on-one with meeting planners and gave a destination presentation as a lunch sponsor at the Prestige National Sales Conference in Minneapolis. 
  • (Photo 5) Aug. 18: Terp teamed up with Lee County Economic Development and Sports Development at the Minnesota Twins Lee County Day client event at Target Field in Minneapolis.

SALES ACTIVITIES & UPCOMING SHOWS

Island Hopper Songwriter Fest 2021 is one for the books

After taking a year off for the pandemic, the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest, Sept. 17-26, welcomed 78 songwriters who performed over 10 days on Captiva Island, downtown Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach. 

About 14,000 people attended the performances and early surveys from attendees included the following information:

  • 95% said the fest was awesome
  • 30% local, meaning 70% traveled to the destination
  • 50% booked a hotel room and half of them booked 4+ nights
  • 40% baby boomers

Save the dates: Island Hopper, Sept. 16-25, 2022

IPW 2021 highlights include announcement that inbound international air travel will resume in November

More than 2,600 attendees from 52 countries gathered in Las Vegas for U.S. Travel’s 52nd annual International Pow Wow (IPW) — the travel industry's leading international trade show and marketplace, Sept. 18-22.

Following health and safety practices, IPW gathered global travel professionals to meet in business appointments that will draw future travel and tourism to the U.S. and facilitate an industrywide recovery.

The VCB participated in the trade show, networking events, held numerous appointments, and provided timely destination updates to international and domestic buyers, tour operators, travel professionals and the media.

During IPW, it was announced that the U.S. would reopen the country to international air travel for vaccinated travelers worldwide in early November; land border restrictions with Canada and Mexico will continue at least through October.

2021 Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism

Rotating photos include:

  • (Photo 1) The 2021 Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism, Sept. 8-10, was held at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Fla. VCB staff and Tourist Development Council members who attended include Simone Behr, Fran Belasco, Colleen DePasquale, Tony Lapi, Tamara Pigott, Darla Bonk, Bill Waichulis, Rob Wells, Nancy MacPhee, Holly Smith, Jeff Mielke and Miriam Dotson.
  • (Photo 2) VCB staff Miriam Dotson, Simone Behr, Nancy MacPhee, Jackie Parker and Fran Belasco. The VCB won two silver Flagler Awards in the Social Media Marketing category for Beach Ready Spirit Week and Creativity in Public Relations category for Shellcast the podcast that's a beach break for your ears. 
  • (Photo 3) John Lai and Tamara Pigott chat in the marketplace village. Lai is president and CEO of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce and a member of the VISIT FLORIDA board of directors. 
  • (Photo 4) Event signage

Marketing results

The New York Times "Sounds of Nature" paid post wrapped up in June. It emphasized the sounds of the destination. The average time engaged wrapped with a 2:02 time spent outperformed the vendor's benchmark by 144%, emphasizing that the content was highly relevant to the audience. 

  • Page views: 84,633 
  • Impressions on NYT social channels: 16,878
  • Circulation of editorial spread in T Magazine: 840,084 
  • Impressions from run on The Daily podcast: 688,732 

PR/Communication results

1. Country Now (impressions: 364,130) 9/29/21
Music meets the beach at Southwest Florida's Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

  • Cabbage Key
  • Captiva Island
  • Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Beach
  • Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina
  • South Seas Island Resort
  • Sunny Island Adventures

2. Music Mayhem (impressions: 130, 230) 9/29/21
Songwriters shine on the breezy Florida beaches at the annual 10-day Island Hopper Fest

  • Cabbage Key
  • Captiva Island
  • Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Beach
  • Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina
  • South Seas Island Resort
  • Sunny Island Adventures

3. Forbes (impressions: 33,734,080) 9/28/21
Here's how to plan the perfect escape to Captiva Island

  • Calusa Heritage Trail
  • Captiva Adventures
  • Captiva Cruises
  • Captiva Island
  • Captiva Island Inn
  • Captiva Provision Company
  • Cayo Costa State Park
  • J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille
  • Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Beach
  • The Green Flash
  • Jensen's Twin Palm Cottages & Marina Resort
  • Key Lime Bistro
  • The Mad Hatter
  • Mound House
  • The Mucky Duck
  • Pine Island
  • RC Otter's
  • Sanibel
  • South Seas Island Resort
  • 'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa

4. Paste Magazine (impressions: 756,236) 9/27/21
Discovering nature in Sanibel & Captiva islands, Florida

  • Adventure Sea Kayak
  • Cabbage Key
  • Captiva
  • Captiva Cruises
  • J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Beach
  • Island Hopper Songwriter Fest
  • The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

5. Paste Magazine (impressions: 756,236) 9/21/21
Songcraft and sunshine: Enjoying Florida’s Island Hopper Songwriter Fest

  • Captiva
  • Fort Myers
  • Fort Myers Beach
  • Island Hopper Songwriter Fest
  • The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel

6. Wide Open Spaces (impressions: 1,150,000), 9/17/21
Fishing the ‘Ding Darling’ Tarpon Tournament and Exploring Ft. Myers and Sanibel

  • Cabbage Key
  • Captiva Island
  • Fort Myers
  • J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Marriott Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa
  • Sanibel

7. USA Today (impressions: 20,613,846) 9/14/21
10 best beach vacation ideas for families – even if you’re traveling in the fall

  • J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
  • Sanibel Island

8. Atlas Obscura (impressions: 1,612,668), 9/9/21
The lasting allure – and bruising challenge – of courting Florida’s silver king

  • Boca Grande Pass
  • Fort Myers
  • Pine Island Sound

9. The Reminder (impressions: 972) 9/8/21
Musician Gets Ready for the Island Hopper Songwriter Festival

  • Fort Myers

10. Travel + Leisure (impressions: 2,005,222) 9/8/21
The Top 15 Islands in the Continental U.S.

  • Captiva Island
  • Sanibel Island
Tourist Development Council

Next TDC Meeting Oct. 14

Tourist Development Council (TDC) meetings are held at the Lee County Admin East Building, 2201 Second St., Room 118, Fort Myers.

When: 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 14
Agenda: Available one week before meeting 
Watch live: Lee TV
 
TDC MEETING FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

Preparedness guide

Hurricane help
HURRICANE WORKSHOP VIDEO
Red tide resources

Local

LEE COUNTY WATER QUALITY RESOURCES
RED TIDE FACT SHEET

State

FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION DAILY RED TIDE SAMPLE MAP
FLORIDA FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION RED TIDE FAQS
RED TIDE RESPIRATORY FORECAST TOOL
Chambers of Commerce
BOCA GRANDE
CAPE CORAL
EAST LEE COUNTY
ESTERO
FORT MYERS BEACH
GREATER FORT MYERS
GREATER PINE ISLAND
NORTH FORT MYERS
SANIBEL & CAPTIVA ISLANDS
SWFL INC.
   
The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Logo with Website

2201 Second Street, Suite 600
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
Toll Free 800.237.6444  |  Local 239.338.3500

Visit our website fortmyers-sanibel.com to learn more!

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