There was a “letter to the editor” published in the News Herald on July 18th from Reggie Lancaster talking about how the Summer White Sale didn’t help local tourism, but actually hurt the existing businesses.
Few people have more of an appreciation of what our Tourist Development Council members do than I. I spent 11 years on the board and chaired it for four years and have fond memories of serving with some great people. I would like to offer some constructive criticism to the advertising agency and the board in regards to the current advertising effort referred to as the Summer White Sale.
Although well intentioned, I don’t believe the advertising campaign produced the desired results. Instead of enticing new guests to come to Panama City Beach, it largely accomplished offering reduced rates and incentives to guests who already had reservations or at least plans to come here. Consequently, while everything else in the country was going up in price, we were reducing already stressed profit margins in the accommodation industry.
Stated another way, I’m afraid the only thing we really accomplished was to spread the business that we usually get over a larger market. It may have helped new properties with little repeat business, but it didn’t help the loyal and proven collector of the bed tax. In fact, it hurt these businesses. Once the advertised offers of free nights, free gas cards, or reduced rates hit, we were asked to meet these offers or risk cancellations on previously confirmed reservations.Print Story