Tourism’s Business Connection
Our beaches beckon. Our access to space lures, and our cruises can take you to more places. The Space Coast has become one of the area’s most well rounded tourist destinations. This appeal is bringing visitors to Brevard County in impressive numbers.
But what ultimately brings visitors here is blurring the line between tourism and business destination. With huge gains in our aviation and high tech clusters in recent years and new companies relocating here annually, our diversification as a tourism and business hotspot is combining to bring even more guests to our community.
Mixing Business with Pleasure
In just the past year, the hotel industry, hospitality employment and the total number of visitors to Florida, all posted year-over-year percentage increases.
In the same light, thousands of new jobs have been created, and many new companies have relocated to the area. Visitors to the Space Coast aren’t only here to soak up the sun; many are here on temporary work assignments, participating in conferences, on short-term business trips or interviewing at one of the many companies that dot our high tech corridor. These visitors are staying in hotels, eating at local restaurants and spending money in our community.
And when a location offers as many things to do as the Space Coast, they often bring other family members along for the trip, adding to the injection of economic activity.
Making the Business Connection
Whether guests are here for work or play, we’re focused on how we can extend the relationship between tourists and the business community. One way is by marketing both our business excellence and tourism activities in the place where visitors have a chance to unwind – in their hotel rooms.
Through a partnership between the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) and the Tourism Development Council (TDC), guests are greeted with tabletop cards that promote PLAY HERE and WORK HERE. The multi-sided, multi-messaged cards promote the merits of each aspect of life on the Space Coast and have digital links for readers to learn more.
In many economic development deals, the decision makers within relocating companies will add locations to the short list because of a previous visit or experience with the area. Quality of life is one factor in these important decisions and our quality of life story can be told in better detail when one experiences it first-hand. So we treat these visits as a first impression and a chance to sell our story as both a tourist destination and business destination. And above all, it’s an opportunity to invite visitors to keep coming back.
On the clearest of days, visitors can catch a glimpse of dolphins frolicking in the Indian River, or a rocket launch sending up the newest technology from off our shores. A dedicated business strategy to keep rocket launches and attract commercial space is a primary strategy of the EDC’s program of work. Business and tourism efforts feed off of each other. More and more, visitors are breaking the mold of the traditional ‘tourist’. Work here or play here, these guests are helping to bolster the economy on a number of fronts.
About the Author
Lynda Weatherman is president and CEO of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.