So How's that TDC Website and Summer Marketing Campaign Performing?

Six months ago, the community, businesses and, well, anyone who has a vested interest in Panama City Beach waited with bated breath for the unveiling of the new marketing campaign bent on rebranding Panama City Beach. Loads of marketing dollars were spent in an unprecedented effort, at least for PCB, that included big time cable TV buys, a $50,000 video competition, social media networking, microblogging and print buys all aimed at guiding potential PCB vacationers to the new and improved Panama City Beach website. So, how did it do? If I may, allow me to send the first congratulatory pat on the back to the TDC and marketing committee for a job well done.

Unlike most destinations, based on a recent Klages report, Panama City Beach is doing well. While all around the state 2009 hotel occupancy and ADR have dropped considerably since 2008, Panama City Beach has managed to keep itself in the black ink. In fact, 2008’s total economic impact for Panama City Beach spring quarter yielded 247 million whereas the 2009 numbers surged to 261 million. The total amount of visitors for the spring quarter increased as well. But let’s look at some actual recent numbers.

Tourist Development Tax Collections

PCB June – Down 4.5%

2008 – $1,223,300
2009 – $1,167,681

PCB YTD – Up 1.6%

2008 – $4,091,591
2009- $4,158,268

Unique visitors to the website http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com

April visitors – 44,277
May visitors – 64,753
June visitors – 91,932
July visitors – 93,693

Social Marketing (Facebook Fans, Twitter Followers, Registered Users)

April – 9,624
May – 14,266
June – 24,694
July – 35,198

March – May Visitor Sentiments

Satisfaction
2008 – 88.5%
2009 – 89.9

Intent to Return
2008 – 69.6
2009 – 76.9

Refer to a Friend
2008 – 70.7
2009 – 72.8

Occupancy and Visitation

March – 62.6 % Occupancy – 711,660 Visitor Days
April – 46.2% Occupancy – 482,560 Visitor Days
May – 49.2% Occupancy – 562, 002 Visitor Days
Quarter – 52.7% Occupancy – 1,756,222 Visitor Days

Judging by these numbers, one can very easily see the impact of the campaign. It must be considered that these numbers are during a recession and a severe lag in travel. Similar destinations are not seeing the type of visitation Panama City Beach has seen evidenced by the article in the New York Times that referenced Panama City Beach.

While there was debate about how much money to spend and where to spend it, what cannot be debated is the campaign’s overall success. Note to the TDC: Keep up the good work guys.

TDC Meeting – New Website from Jennifer Barbee Inc.

Well, I think the new VisitPanamaCityBeach.com web site is just about done.  Thursday’s special called meeting, Jennifer Barbee herself will be here to present what her firm has done to the board.  From what I’ve seen, this site will be very awesome.

Also on the agenda is a presentation from Mr. Peter Yesawich from YPartnership regarding what they’ve come up with for a summer marketing campaign.

You can count on me being there Tweeting away all the sweet details.

You can download the agenda here, or view it below.

Special Called Meeting

AGENDA

COMBINED BOARD MEETNG
Bay County Tourist Development Council
Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc.
Panama City Beach
Thursday, March 26, 2009                   4:00 p.m.        Council Room, PCB City Hall

NOTE:  The City Council of Panama City Beach will be meeting at 2:00 p.m.  If the City Council meeting is not over by 4:00 p.m., the Combined Board Meeting will begin immediately following adjournment of the Council meeting.

I.    CALL MEETING TO ORDER

II.    ROLL CALL

A.    Invocation
B.    Pledge of Allegiance

III.    REQUESTS TO ADDRESS THE BOARD ON AGENDA ITEMS (3 Minutes)

IV.    PRESENTATIONS

A.    Presentation of Website and Marketing Campaign, Ms. Susan Estler, VP of Marketing

1.    VisitPanamaCityBeach.com, Ms. Jennifer Barbee, JB, Inc.
2.    2009 Summer Marketing Campaign, Mr. Peter Yesawich, YPartnership

V.    BOARD DISCUSSION ITEMS

VI.    AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

VII.    ADJOURNMENT