~TDC research foundation for future marketing~

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 11:33 AM.

Jenkins said such a research of the visitors who come to Gulf County had never been undertaken and was essential for future marketing programs and outreach. 

“My main goal was to identify the profile of the loyal visitor and the markets that were emerging,” Jenkins said. “I was trying to get a sense of the brand. We wanted to test drive the brand.

“These were things we had to do, but it really worked out well. They (researchers) delivered more than I expected. They came in respectfully and their procedures brought all this out.”

The research had four distinct components and were, Jenkins said, “unaided” in the sense that there were no questions crafted for the first phase and the results fed subsequent phases.

One involved “social listening” to responses sent out to 21,000 subscribers to the TDC e-newsletter. Jenkins noted those subscribers are a loyal bunch, with few opting out of the survey.

Lengthy interviews were conducted with those identified by TDC stakeholders as loyal visitors, those who return again and again to Gulf County.

There were also visitor opinion surveys and extensive interviews with stakeholders, not just the bed tax collectors but also restaurants and other businesses with a bottom line linked to tourism.

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