News Section: Local Government
Manatee County Tourist Development Council Agenda Results: 2/11/13
BRADENTON -- At Manatee County's Tourist Development Council meeting Monday, council members and residents alike got the latest numbers to what tourism has brought the area. Nathan Benderson Park will remain postured to offer-up its facilities as the location of the 2017 World Rowing Championship. Plus, the TDC has a newly-designed website, while national publications bring new focus to the region.
1. Approval of December 10, 2012 Meeting Minutes -- Approved, 6 - 0, DeSears absent
2. Public Comment -- None
3. Election of TDC Vice-Chairman for 2013
(Currently David Teitelbaum holds the position) -- Ed Chiles nominated David Teitelbaum for Vice-Chairman, no other members were nominated. -- Approved, 6 - 0, DeSears absent
4. World Rowing Championship 2017 (Budget 2013-2017)
Presented by Elliott Falcione, CVB --
Recommendation Needed -- Recommendation to continue campaigning to host the 2017 World Rowing Championship at the Nathan Benderson Park. -- Approved, 6 - 0, DeSears absent. (Full Story)
5. State of Tourism
Presented by Walter Klages, Data Research Services -- In Walter Klages's presentation, he said that the medium household income has stabilized and shows signs of improvement. Klages said the housing market is getting better and that he didn't believe there would be another housing bubble. He noted that although recent retail sales were down and that the dollar was losing ground with the Euro, Klages remained optimistic of the local tourist economy.
TDC chair and Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore said her and Commissioner Chappie's message as they visit all of the island government meetings is to convey a 'small family destination for Manatee County's understanding. Whitmore suggested to Ed Chiles that if he wanted to make a motion that would convey that understanding and commitment, they could vote on "No hotel like structures in neighborhoods (a stand against the ten bedroom duplexes that are known as party houses). -- Approved, 6 - 0, DeSears absent
6. Marketing, Sales & Public Relations - Update
Presented by Debbie Meihls, CVB -- Meihls introduced her new communications manager (Data Queen of the website) Kelly Clark, MMGY Global's, Jessica Lampton and Josepha Chomposy.
7. Website Presentation
Presented by Jessica Lampson & Josepha Chomposy, MMGY -- Lampson and Chomposy introduced the different website measurements (methods to decipher web activity) of visitors that use the website. The recent rebranding of the "Convention Center" to The Bradenton Area Convention Center was not without challenge. An increasing amount of web visits are coming from Smart Phones and IPads (30 percent) and all web hits are steadily increasing. Lampson said keeping a low key, more personal atmosphere to the site, translates the message visitors seem to be looking for. Refined search tools have helped (not just a menu), by making navigation more friendly. A visitor can search by events, calendar, subject matter to review their options.
There is also an increase in website membership. They can "Favorite" on a message board, or surf other comments. An increase in European traffic has encouraged language translation tools and will soon be available for non-English web visitors. Chomposy focused on the difference quality traffic compared to quantity traffic and how the new site helps Google, as well as other search engines, recognize it.
8. CVB’s New “Destination Magazine” (visitors guide), presented by Time Inc. -- The recognition Bradenton is getting from "Southern Living" and from Destination Magazine has brought enormous focus to the area.
9. New / Old Business -- None
10. Public Comment -- Linda Owens from Manatee Technical Institute brought four of her students to the meeting to thank the council for all of the help they have received. The Institute has a new campus location: 6305 State Road 70, East, Bradenton Fl. 34203.
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