Escambia tourism up 12 percent

Press Release: Tourism in Escambia County is presently setting all-time lodging revenue records for FY 2012-2013 to date, with lodging revenues generated in October and November 2012 totaling $24.1 million, a 12 percent increase over revenues collected in the same period in 2011.

In FY 2011-2012, lodging revenue collections on hotel and rental stays in Escambia County totaled $178 million, an 11 percent increase over the previous year’s record.

“These numbers clearly depict the momentum that the Pensacola Bay Area’s tourism industry has been experiencing over the past few years, which we believe to be a testament to our increased marketing efforts and to the region’s growth,” said Terry Scruggs, vice president of tourism for the Greater Pensacola Chamber. “Undoubtedly, continuing to fund Escambia County tourism at the level at which it had been funded, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has provided tangible benefits.”

Pensacola Bay Area marketing initiatives are managed by Visit Pensacola, the tourism arm of the Greater Pensacola Chamber, which serves as the destination’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, housed in the Visitor Information Center located at the foot of the Pensacola Bay Bridge.

This year, Visit Pensacola’s integrated marketing budget, which includes the Perdido Key Chamber and the Pensacola Sports Association, is $6.5 million. These monies are being used on the placement of advertising campaigns in key feeder markets; conducting public relations outreach to regional, national, international and trade media; hosting promotional events and giveaways; and conducting primary and secondary market research, all aimed at positioning the Pensacola Bay Area as a preferred travel destination. Visit Pensacola has contracted Nashville, Tn.-based BOHAN Advertising as its marketing agency of record and Atlanta-based Majority Opinion Research as its research firm of record to help lead these efforts.

“If the success of the first two months of this fiscal year is any indication, Escambia County tourism is well on its way to another consecutive record-breaking year, and everyone in the industry should feel a tremendous sense of pride in that,” Scruggs said