November 2007

Crystal Coast is Cookin’

The Crystal Coast is full of great unique restaurants. You know that and now the Crystal Coast Tourism Development Authority (CCTDA), of which I have the pleasure of serving as Chairman, plans to promote the great culinary experiences throughout our region. The CCTDA’s main goal is to build tourism in the shoulder and off season. The summer months are pretty full, but increased tourism in the shoulder and off season would be a big benefit to our rental properties and local merchants; and the average citizen would not notice the additional people in the county.

A little over two years ago, the CCTDA teamed up with The Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee Florida which is the largest hospitality only marketing agency in the world. We are teaming together for the “Crystal Coast is Cookin’” campaign which will get started soon. Today’s traveler is looking for something different than what they get at home especially in the area of dining. That is great for the Crystal Coast because we have many fine family owned restaurants that are very different from the big city restaurants. It is not uncommon in our area for the restaurant owner to visit with the diner, which is not likely to happen in the bigger cities, and many restaurants have signature dishes.

The campaign will include color ads in the regional editions of magazines such as Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and House and Garden. It will also include lead sponsorship of the “Savor the South” insert in Food and Wine magazine and 30 second television spots on the Food Network and within culinary shows on additional cable networks. Zimmerman Public Relations is also heavily involved in this promotion. They will be working with well known culinary writers to entice them to write culinary articles about signature recipes from restaurants on the Crystal Coast. They also will be approaching TV and radio shows such as Giada’s Weekend Getaways, Rachael Ray’s Tasty Treats, Food Finds and $40 a Day to try to obtain broadcast features.

Sometimes we take our local businesses for granted, thinking that every community has businesses providing the same level of service. I think our businesses are a notch above businesses in other communities. They are truly an asset to the community, but they need year round support to keep providing the great services they provide. I encourage you take advantage of the services of these businesses and to tell your friend’s in far away places about them. Additional business in the shoulder and off-season benefits all of us.

There are lots of great activities on the Crystal Coast this time of year including parades and flotillas. I hope you get a chance to spend time on the Crystal Coast this holiday season. It is the best time of the year.

Posted by Admin Thursday, November 1, 2007 3:19:00 PM