The goal is to be a world-class tourist destination. To achieve that, Island leaders are spending big bucks on marketing. The City Council has agreed unanimously to renew an advertising contract with a marketing firm from San Antonio. Last year, the city spent $2.4 million with the firm. The new contract is for $2.8 million. “In marketing dollars, that is the most we have ever contracted an outside company to do,” Mayor Barry Patel said.
The agreement is a joint marketing contract between the Atkins Group, the city and SPI Convention and Visitors Bureau. Officials believe it is money well spent.
“We should be spending every bit of that,” said Keith Arnold, CVB director. “It’s a good investment.” The marketing is geared to families and events that take place on the Island, which is dependent on leisure travelers, Winter Texans, meetings and conventions and event productions. Arnold said the marketing investment is all produced by the hotel tax, which is showing the Island is doing well with leisure travel business. The majority of the increase in spending is to continue to market on the Trip Adviser premium page and in airports and in-flight magazines through December. The strategy is to bring in more Winter Texans and families traveling through the state’s airports. About 70 percent of the marketing investment is being spent on placement advertisements using print and digital media, Arnold said.

By RAUL GARCIA | Staff Writer