Summer season is a busy season for some hotels
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Jul. 12, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- Its summer, the time of the year locals get to enjoy beautiful southwest Florida all to themselves, but not anymore.
Lee county is witnessing a dramatic shift in the way its doing business.
In the past, the Lee County Tourism Development Council couldn't afford to pay for expensive tv advertising in a place like Chicago. But with a new focus on facebook ... and other forms of social media ... more people are "liking" Lee County.
This July traffic in front of the dairy queen on Sanibel Island hasn't slowed down.
Tim Palmer is the DQ manager. He says the store is "constantly busy... what would usually be a slow time is now a normal time."
At the Sanibel Holiday Inn, the parking lot is packed, people are showing up loaded with luggage and business is booming.
To be sold out during the week in July is unheard of!
Danny Adams is the sales director for the hotel and thinks things have changed permanently. "I think Off-season... is becoming a term thats just not true anymore."
Adams thinks this sudden jump in business can be directly linked to the digital campaign led by the lee county visitors convention bureau.
Tamara Pygott, director of the Lee County Visitors Convention Bureau explains that "before we were operating exclusively in print tv and radio."
But not anymore! Pygott made the bold move to shift half her budget to micro target tourists through the web.
And the results are stunning.
You can see the jump in business with just these top cities.
Indianapolis has seen a 43.5% increase in visitors to lee county.
Chicago, nearly 80%!
Pygott points out that "we bring those people in and they leave a lot of money behind- about 2.7 billion a year."
Adams from Holiday Inn believes moving forward is nothing but good news, "I should have sun glasses on ... the future is very bright."
The Lee County Visitors Convention Bureau said it has even more ideas and plans to reach out to potential tourists. They're convinced that if they can get them here... they will want to keep coming back.