When you think of Daytona Beach, FL, what’s the first thought that comes to mind? Daytona 500. Bike Week. Spring Break.
While those are major associations for the area, I doubt it’s enough to drive year-round visits. So the City has decided to focus more on marketing and increasing it’s leisure and convention travel. That’s a great start considering the fact that Daytona isn’t known as a destination brand like its neighbor Orlando. However, Daytona is known for its beaches, but Miami is close enough to crush the competition.
So I guess that’s why the Volusia County Council signed off on an $89,000 tourism study late last year to understand how the area is being marketed. I thought it was clear enough what the current positioning was based on what the biggest drivers seem to be for the area’s tourism industry. Perhaps, instead of a study, the focus should be on defining where Daytona could be most competitive and carving out a unique identity as a destination to drive top of mind awareness and attract travelers year round.
Daytona could also transform and become a more engaging destination brand. A simple side by side comparison of Daytona’s Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) and Miami’s CVB, clearly shows where Daytona is failing as an engaging brand. Miami’s CVB has more than 41,000 Twitter followers while Daytona pales with less than 2,000 followers.
Why does Twitter follower count matter? Because the most competitive tourism brands have found tremendous value and increased visibility through two-way engagement on Twitter (Lessons From the Top City Tourism Agencies on Twitter). If you need more reasons to believe in Twitter, check out our article The Impact of Mobile Usage and Social Behavior in Travel.
It would also be smart for Daytona to go for the low hanging fruit and positioning itself to nearby visitors especially since four Orlando’s top five origination cities for travelers come from Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. (New York rounds out the top five list.)
Nevertheless, there’s a few strategic high visibility programs Daytona could’ve almost immediately implemented without having to go through an $89,000 study that will end up costing the County another $40,000 to only tell them what’s clearly in their face. When it comes to competitive positioning Daytona, it’s a branding strategy that’s needed; not a study especially when the evidence is in the current positioning.