COASTE | DEC 2016 - JAN 2017

Each year, visitors from all over the world descend upon Lee County in search of precious treasure that goes by the name “the dream vacation.” Here’s how the masterminds at The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel find them— and why it’s so important these TREASURE HUNT

visitors don’t leave disappointed. By John Sprecher | Photography by Milissa Sprecher


t’s another beautiful day in early November in Southwest Florida. The sky is clear blue, the temperature is in the 80s and on the beach, the sweet

The marketing of visitor destinations in the greatest tourism state in America is a bit different than in most other states. Here, each of Florida’s 67 counties identifies a tourism marketing budget — and many (including Lee County) are larger than a lot of state budgets. Yes, destination marketing is big business — and very often, a pressure cooker job for those at the top. Tamara Pigott is that person at the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau. A member of the organization for more than 15 years, Pigott has served as Executive Director since 2010 — and in that time has presided over a record-setting span of tourism-based prosperity. “The last few years have been phenomenal for travel in general,” she notes. “In our case, we’ve had six straight years of revenue growth — some years at double digit numbers unheard of really — and helping

sights and sounds of the gentle Gulf of Mexico waves give this afternoon an almost hypnotic rhythm. All is well in this world. Meanwhile, in downtown Fort Myers, an enthusiastic and expert team of 32 hospitality marketing professionals at the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau — working under the brand “The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel” — are at it again, doing everything they can to efficiently and effectively deliver today (and every day of the year) an average of more than 12.82 million media impressions of our destination to the audiences most apt to act on them. And ultimately choose to vacation here.



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