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Visit Tallahassee Rolls Out New Tourism Marketing Campaign

Visit Tallahassee

The drive is ramping up to make the Tallahassee area more attractive to visitors than ever. On Sept. 22 the local tourism marketing arm rolled out its new visitor promotion strategy at Doak Campbell Stadium's new Champions Club.

Visit Tallahassee's new Director Kerri Post said Leon County's tourism numbers continue their 7-year upswing.

"$863 million from tourism in Leon County last year and 14,000 jobs," Post said, ticking off a list of figures. "We have a lot of impact. Leon County annually allocates $1.25 million for arts and cultural programming. We implement a $500,000 grant program for sporting and special events, so we put a lot of money back into the community as well."

Post was confident the upward trend will continue, mainly because the Capital City is no longer the sleepy, old-South backwater it used to be.

"Add on top of the incredible nature and sports and history and culture and the arts and then you add music now with all the different venues that we have, we are kind of an emerging destination for music and culinary (experiences) and it's a very exciting time to be in the destination."

But Post also acknowledged many of the old ways of promoting the destination are about as dated as the city's old image. Mass media and slick new paper vacation guides don't get the traction they once did. So Post said the new marketing campaign depends greatly on the town's biggest fans - its own residents - to spread the word.

"People love it and you can hear the excitement in our voices and we want to help everyone that's here harness and channel the love for all the cool, hip things that are going on in the destination and share it with the world and let the world know how cool this place is."

And to focus the love, pushing the use of the community's signature "I Heart Tally" hash tag.

"Take it, tag it and share it," Post urged. "On the #ihearttally so when they're at sporting events or they're at a concert in the Capital City Amphitheatre that they'll be using the new social platform to share our love of this destination with the world."

An effort which Post noted dovetails nicely with the new Knight Creative Communities Institute campaign announced earlier this week to turn that same hash tag into a physical promotional object. Also at the campaign rollout, Visit Tallahassee honored Opening Nights' Executive Director Chris Heacox and the Proof Brewing Company for their unique contributions to making the Capital City an even more attractive destination.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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