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Lee VCB teams with Lonely Planet in marketing

By Staff | Oct 7, 2010

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau announced a strategic, multi-platform partnership with a world renowned tourism mega-brand at its annual Team Tourism Summit Thursday at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa.
Lonely Planet, known as the world’s largest travel publisher with global coverage, will create and producing a customized destination guidebook, a digital/online version of the guide, as well as a mobile application of the guide and other digital marketing solutions by year’s end or before February 2011. The association with Lee VCB –which represents The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel– should effectively aid in the response to social media and provide the bureau with international coverage and what officials are calling unparalleled marketing exposure.
“This trail-blazing joint adventure will provide us with a customized destination visitor guide, an e-book version of the guide, and other digital solutions that will expand out marketing reach exponentially, “ said Lee VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott. “Moreover, this exciting new endeavor will allow us to collaborate with association with a well-respected tourism mega-brand.”
Pigott then introduced officials from Lonely Planet with comedic help from Chicago actor Dan Aho, star of the recent “Still Pristine” marketing campaign. Lonely Planet U.S. Travel Editor Robert Reid gave a historic presentation of the company, showed a power point slide show of his traveling around Lee County during a segmented “perfect first day” back in the area and explained the unique one-of-a-kind partnership with Lee VCB.
“Lonely Planet’s goal is to find authentic experiences in a place that we can pass on to travel communities so that they can build travel memories they can turn to, laugh about and joke about with their family members for the rest of their lives,” said Reid. “Traveling makes you appreciate where you are from.”
Reid talked about his first trip to Florida, 20 years ago, and his introduction to Lee County.
“The reason I bring it up is because it’s where Florida became real to me,” he said. “I’ve had some good times in different places (in Florida), but it was something about this that felt like a home away, and a place where you can imagine living in.”
Lonely Planet has published more than 100 million travel guidebooks since 1973 and sells more than 6.5 million each year. The organization employs more than 350 authors who reside in 37 countries and speak 70 languages.
Pigott thanked Reid for his thoughts and compliments about the local community.
“This destination, which we call home, promote and spend so much time sharing with other people, really is a place worthy of high praise,” she said.
Lee VCB’s business goal for 2011 is to increase bed tax revenue by 1.7 percent. Its tactics in marketing and communication strategies include new visitor acquisition; repeat visitor retention; product development and industry support and professional development.
Details of the new partnership will be posted to the VCB’s tourism industry partner website at www.LeeVCB.com .

–information provided by Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau