TDC seeking outside guidance

Posted on February 12, 2016 by Louis Cooper

The Santa Rosa County agency responsible for attracting tourists to Navarre Beach is looking for a little outside direction.
At its meeting on Monday, the Santa Rosa County Commission discussed a plan from the county’s Tourist Development Council to seek request for qualifications — or RFQs — from consultants to help the group develop a strategic plan.
“The purpose of the strategic plan development is to align the goals of the TDC while working toward (the) desired outcome of increasing tourism bed tax dollars in Santa Rosa County,” TDC Executive Director Julie Morgan wrote in a report to the commission. The TDC unanimously approved the idea in November.
The TDC is made up of nine representatives from the hotel and hospitality industry, as well as local governments. It is tasked with using proceeds from the county’s so-called “bed tax” ­— that is, taxes levied on short-term hotel/motel, condo, vacation home and campground rentals — to promote tourism.
The TDC suggested looking for a consultant that would be expected to host two focus group meetings, a workshop/planning session with TDC members and staff, and any needed follow-up meetings.
Commissioners discussed spending $73,600 the TDC recently received in money related to the 2010 BP oil spill. The TDC wants to use the money to purchase TV ads in Birmingham, Atlanta/Columbus, Nashville, Little Rock and Baton Rouge.
The ads would air in March and April to promote visiting Santa Rosa County in the period before the main summer tourism season.