To the editor:
Each fall, the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau develops an annual sales and marketing plan to detail our focus for the upcoming year. This year, we also are working to create a strategic plan looking forward three to five years to ensure our local tourism industry is sustainable well into the future.
Our goal for this strategic plan is simple: ensure the success of the local tourism industry and drive long-term growth for the county. As such, this will not be a plan explicitly for the VCB, but a blueprint for the entire Lee County community one that gives us a road map to guide our industry in maintaining its role as the county's leading economic driver.
The VCB is partnering with High Lantern Group to develop the strategic plan, and the firm brings a wealth of knowledge about the tourism industry, including strategies it developed for the U.S. Travel Association and a number of high-profile destinations. HLG has begun the process of researching and gathering data, starting with input from the Tourist Development Council and representatives of several key industry segments. The firm will help us analyze current trends, evaluate our assets and challenges and set a strategic and tactical plan for implementation with measurable results.
The VCB and HLG aim to analyze the local market and frame the strategic plan through three critical lenses: identifying and leveraging the assets that differentiate Lee County; prioritizing the competing obligations and financial drivers at play; and learning from competitor destinations and positioning Lee County appropriately. Delving deeper into these core areas will help us develop an action plan that will strengthen the VCB's position among premier destination marketing organizations and maximize visitation to The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel over the next five years and beyond.
The next step will be seeking additional public input through targeted focus groups and surveys. To ensure our success, we hope you will engage in this process when called upon. We will keep you informed of opportunities to share your insights. I look forward to what we will learn in the coming weeks and the strategies we will develop as a result.