Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bradenton's new tourism leadership getting results

Debbie Meihls has been plenty busy since joining the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, reported here in August.

She hit the ground running when hired as executive manager with a fresh perspective on how to market Anna Maria Island and Manatee County. Much of her approach, derived from her marketing role with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater tourism bureau, is cooperative marketing.

And local tourism officials on Monday said Meihls' strategy is a success as reported in today's Bradenton Herald.

"I have a direct marketing background and marketing has to be results-driven," said David Teitelbaum, a member of the Manatee County Tourist Development Council. "It's a pleasure to see the money we're spending is being spent correctly."

 A recent cooperative marketing project led by Meihls includes the Manatee County edition of "Florida Travel + Life's Affordable Luxury" series.  The 30-minute television spot features Anna Maria Island and cost $85,000. As part of the deal, the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureua will also get the rights to the B-roll video that includes footage of local beaches, Bridge Street, Village of the Arts and Lakewood Ranch to use in future marketing projects. And, Florida Travel + Life magazine this month has a four-page spread on Manatee County and its tourism ammenities.

"We are so thankful St. Pete let her get away," said Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton CVB. "She's doing some incredible things."

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