The Cocoa Beach brand: Tourism in Brevard. Video by Space Coast Office of Tourism. Posted Nov. 17, 2017
A change that took effect this month in how Brevard County’s Tourist Development Tax will be allocated means that more money will be available to promote the Space Coast to tourists,
The Space Coast Office of Tourism plans spend $6.78 million on promotion and advertising during the budget year that began Oct. 1, including $4.74 million on various forms of media.
Details of the plan were unanimously approved this past week to the Brevard County Tourist Development Council and its Marketing Committee.
The Office of Tourism has a goal of raising $14.5 million in the 2017-18 budget year that began Oct. 1 through Brevard County’s 5 percent Tourist Development Tax on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals. That would be a 6.6 percent increase from $13.6 million the tax money raised in 2016-17. Forty-seven percent of that money will be used to promote the Space Coast to tourists,
Rocket Launch Sizzle Reel: Tourism in Brevard. Video by Space Coast Office of Tourism. Posted Nov. 17, 2017
Among the campaign’s objectives is attracting « higher-valued guests » willing to spend more for their hotel rooms, thereby increasing the average daily hotel room rate and the revenue per available room — two key metrics within the tourism industry.
The Office of Tourism also wants to « increase awareness » and « brand identity » for the local tourism markets.
Here are 10 components of the plan.
Five key messages
Among the key messages of the campaigns will be:
• Space Coast destinations offer families the opportunity to reconnect and rediscover the authentic Florida beach town vibe.
• Come for a space-related vacation, as there are more rocket launches than ever before.
• Cocoa Beach is Orlando’s closest beach.
• Spend the night on the Space Coast before or after your Port Canaveral cruise.
• Don’t « play and run, » if your family is here for a tournament organized by the U.S. Specialty Sports Association, which is based at Space Coast Stadium in Viera. Stay a day or two after the event to experience the Space Coast beaches.
Tiffany Minton, marketing director of the Space Coast Office of Tourism, said « video is still king » when it come to marketing to tourists.
And « short video is more king, » Minton added, with the sweet spot being 15- to 30-second videos on Facebook.
‘Space Coast Live’
The Office of Tourism also plans to produce weekly « Space Coast Live » shows that will be posted on Facebook.
Each show will have a theme, such as couples vacations for Valentine’s Day, Port Canaveral cruising and sea turtle nesting season. Each show also will feature a local attraction and a dining spot, have a space-themed update, focus on upcoming events, and have segments on nature and culture.
Use of ‘influencers’
The Office of Tourism plans to use « authentic personalities — celebrity and everyday people — to tell the story of each destination. »
It also will continue with its « influencer network » for promoting the Space Coast to such segments as fishing enthusiasts, surfing and « foodies. »
The Office of Tourism will promote Space Coast attractions through top-five videos and social media posts, which are popular on social media,
Minton said examples could be the Space Coast’s top-five tiki bars, burgers or craft beer sellers.
Six distinct campaigns
There will be a general overall tourism marketing campaign for the fiscal year running from Oct. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2018, in which $2.07 million is budgeted, plus these five shorter-term campaigns:
• Fall/holiday campaign, Oct. 1 through Dec. 15 ($324,225).
• Spring campaign, Jan. 1 through March 1 ($1 million).
• Early summer campaign, April 15 through May 15 ($442,500).
• Summer campaign, July 1 through Aug. 15 ($680,650).
• Late summer campaign, Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 ($200,000).
Focus on digital
About 38 percent of the promotion and advertising media mix, or $1.79 million, will be spent on online digital components.
This will include Facebook and Instagram, and, to a lesser extent, Pinterest, Snapchat and YouTube.
Airport and billboard marketing
The Office of Tourism plans to spend $850,000 on advertising the Space Coast at airports in Orlando, Atlanta and Washington.
It plans to spend $450,000 on billboard space in Florida and Georgia, including along Florida’s Turnpike; Interstates 4, 10, 75 and 95; and State Road 528, as well as in the Orlando metropolitan area.
The Office of Tourism will work with Port Canaveral, Orlando Melbourne International Airport and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, which is Brevard County’s most popular paid tourist attraction.
That will include:
• $350,000 that has been set aside to market new ships home-ported at Port Canaveral.
• $250,000 that has been set aside to market new inbound air service to Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
• A proposed tour of the KSC Visitor Complex’s Mars Rover concept vehicle, accompanied by and one or more astronauts, to other metropolitan areas. This could include a stop at the Oculus transportation hub at New York City World Trade Center.
The Office of Tourism next September plans to market to families with home-schoolers, with the theme of « enhance your home-school curriculum, while enjoying all the best of our beautiful coast. »
The campaign will promote a trip to the Space Coast to see a rocket launch and tour the KSC Visitor Complex, visit the Brevard Zoo, see local nature and wildlife attractions, and take an art class.
Minton said the idea is to « let the Space Coast be their classroom, if you will. »
The campaign will include a video series featuring five « lesson plans » that families can experience on the Space Coast.
Dave Berman is government editor at FLORIDA TODAY.
Contact Berman at 321-242-3649
Eight target audiences
There are eight segments of consumers that are being targeted in the campaigns, from among the 66 categories of consumers, as detailed in research by the marketing firm Claritas.
• New homesteaders: The primary target profile is what’s known as « new homesteaders, » who typically are a young family consisting of parents who are 24 to 44 years old with school-age children.
According to their profile, they are « dual-income couples, living a very child-centered lifestyle. They are seen the most visiting Cocoa Beach the most during peak season. They are high-tech and best reached through the internet, with above-average ownership of laptops, tablets and smartphones. »
Other targets include:
• Big fish, small pond: They are upper-class, college-educated, empty-nesting couple, many of whom are retired.
• Bohemian mix: They are a middle-age mix of singles, couples and families who are « the millennial wannabees. They are ethnically diverse, well-educated, always have the newest tech devices, have each seen the newest movie and visited the coolest microbrew. »
• Country squires: A family with highly educated parents 35 to 54 years old with children at home ages 12 to 17.
• Fast-track families: This is a family mix with parents 35 to 54 years old, with « upscale homes, numerous children and spacious homes. They are educated and have disposable incomes, and want the best for their children. »
• Middleburgh managers: They are « middle-class folks without children living at home. They work part-time, or are retired from solid white-collar jobs, enjoying a comfortable retirement. »
• Upper crust: A mature (age 55-plus) couple with no children living in the household who are « mega-wealthy. »
• Winner’s circle: Large families « enjoying the benefits of new money. They are big spenders » who like golf and ski vacations, eating out, « lots of mall shopping » and theme parks.
Changes in tourist tax allocations
Brevard County’s Tourist Development Tax is expected to raise $14.5 million in the budget year that began Oct. 1. Here is how the tax will be divided, under a plan that took effect Nov. 1 after it was approved by the Brevard County Commission:
• The percentage used for promotion and advertising of Space Coast tourism increases from 40 percent to 47 percent.
• The percentage used for beach improvement remains at 25 percent.
• The percentage used for capital facilities increases from 5 percent to 14 percent.
• The percentage used for Brevard Zoo increases from 3 percent to 5 percent.
• The percentage used for cultural events remains at 4 percent.
• The percentage used for Space Coast Stadium decreases from 18 percent to 3 percent. Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director Eric Garvey said the money would be used for « unexpected capital maintenance or construction » at the stadium.
• The percentage used for visitor information centers decreases from 5 percent to 2 percent.