There is no doubt Tourism has a substantial impact on our economy. With 10 million visitors annually to Volusia County and employment of over 55,000 workers in the hospitality industry, there is an annual economic impact of over 6 billion dollars.
In this issue of Evolve we discuss the future of tourism as it relates to marketing and highlight a few of our traditional hospitality businesses along with those that one might not realize are important contributors to the visitor experience. The article regarding the beachside and East ISB gateway recognizes the importance and impact of revitalizing our core tourism district. With over $2 billion of investment occurring along East ISB and beachside, we continue to signal to investors that the time to invest is now.
As the home of the “World’s Most Famous Beach” and the Daytona 500, we have a built-in international and national draw to our area. We can not take for granted the importance of good visitor experiences as the key to sustainability and growth of our tourism market.
We can all play a role in positive experiences by making sure our customer service and community brand is exemplary in our interactions with our visitors. While it can be hard to share our community with so many visitors, remember they are paying over 40% of our county’s sales tax which results in enhanced services for the residents year-round.
Reaching today’s consumer is much different than it was just a few short years ago. With the rise of social media and experiential ratings through national forums, information is abundant and accessible to the traveler. Most potential visitors research the area and view websites and digital formats to virtually see what a community has to offer before deciding to visit. The chamber of commerce brand plays a big role in this through our website and links to our area businesses. Chambers have historically been recognized as a resource for information, and a national study of consumers shows an increased comfort with businesses who are members of a chamber.
The County tourism marketing agencies do a great job of showcasing our destination through all forms of advertising and outreach. We often say that they are the experts in getting the visitors here and we are the conduit to move them through the county promoting our members businesses and services prior to their arrival and when they are here. A great partnership for sure!
We are looking forward to the next issue of Evolve that will feature another very important part of our quality of life and visitor amenities, as we focus on the impact of arts & cultural activities in Volusia County.
Skip Lilly Chairman Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce Vision H.R., Inc.
Nancy P. Keefer CCE President & CEO Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce