Seminole to look at ways of drawing in tourists

Unlike neighboring Orange County, Seminole doesn’t have theme parks, giant water slides or a state-of-the-art performing arts center to draw in tourists from around the world.Even so, Seminole officials say their county does have attractions that appeal...

Seminole to look at ways of drawing in tourists

Unlike neighboring Orange County, Seminole doesn’t have theme parks, giant water slides or a state-of-the-art performing arts center to draw in tourists from around the world.

Even so, Seminole officials say their county does have attractions that appeal to visitors – including a new sports mega-complex, a zoo and miles of paved trails. Now they want to get the word out about many of those amenities.

On Tuesday, Seminole commissioners plan to discuss whether the county should hire a new marketing and advertising firm to draw in tourists. Commissioners also will consider new ways Seminole can promote itself outside the region.

“This is not about the [marketing] firm that we have,” said Tricia Setzer, chief administrator for Seminole’s office of economic development and community relations. “But we want to ensure that we’re moving forward in the right direction.”

Since late 2008, Seminole has contracted with Paradise, an advertising company based in St. Petersburg, at a annual cost of $569,500 to handle most of the marketing and promotions for the county’s former Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

However, in mid-2015, the county and Paradise came under fire for changing the bureau’s name to the current Orlando North Seminole County to associate itself with the more famous city farther south. Many longtime residents called it one of the “dumbest ideas” they’d ever heard.

Seminole bureau adopts new name »

Seminole received about 722,000 visitors in 2016, and many of those were weekday business travelers. By comparison, Orlando netted about 66 million visitors last year.

The goal behind the new Orlando North Seminole County branding effort is to lure an additional 62,000 annual visitors into Seminole’s roughly 5,000 hotel rooms on the weekends, county officials said.

Seminole opened its new sports mega-complex on East Lake Mary Boulevard, just southeast of the Orlando Sanford International Airport, last year with the hopes that it will bring prestigious tournaments and weekend visitors.

The county will continue promoting its sports complex with advertising and promotional materials around the country, Seminole Commissioner Lee Constantine said. But county officials also should look at additional ways of drawing visitors, he said.

“There are some companies that do social media very well,” Constantine said. “So we should be considering those, because I have not seen any big splash that we’ve been making in the social media arena. ….I think it might give us new opportunities that we’re missing.”

Paradise’s contract with Seminole expires Sept. 30, and commissioners may decide to put out a bid for a new company in March, Setzer said.

“The last time we went out to bid was in 2008, and many things have changed since then,” Setzer said. “They [county commissioners] may decide to put more of an emphasis on sports marketing or on social media.”

Tuesday’s public workshop will follow the regular commission meeting, which begins at 9:30 a.m. in the county services building, at 1101 E. First St., in downtown Sanford.

mcomas@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5718

 

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS