Lee County spending millions to bring more visitors to SWFL

You may have already noticed the busier roads and the crowded restaurants as season begins to pick up again, but Lee County is spending millions to bring even more people to Southwest Florida.

If you drive along U.S. 41 you know how bad the backups can get during the season, but Lee County is turning to television ads, along with multimedia and social media campaigns to bring even more people to our area.

On Tuesday, the Visitor and Convention Bureau wants to renew a $12 million contract to do that. As we know, red tide took a major hit to tourism last year, but despite the outbreak we’ve seen the past few weeks, the focus has been to encourage people to come back and support the local businesses.

Last year the Visitor and Convention Bureau hosted people from major publications like National Geographic and Forbes to promote Lee County.

They even partnered with the brand Vineyard Vines for a campaign.

These efforts might be paying off as the TV ads running in northern cities like New York and Boston have made 71 million impressions.

They have reached more than 3 billion people around the world through media relations efforts.

Hotel rooms and rentals were almost completely booked during the past spring break.

If approved by the board, they want to use the funds to continue working with media outlets and travel sites like Expedia.

One goal is to increase visitor spending from the current $3.1 billion to $3.35 billion a year.

 

Reporter:Andrea Henderson
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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