At the Wrightsville Beach Marketing Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 11, Shawn Braden, the county’s convention and visitor’s bureau executive vice president of marketing, reported that June room occupancy tax statistics for Wilmington and its beaches set benchmarks for each destination.
Overall, New Hanover County ended FY 2011-2012 up
9.29 percent from the last -fiscal year and Wrightsville Beach finished up 8.44 percent. Braden attributed the exceptional ROT levels to the temperate weather the county experienced this June as well as the overall increase in the average daily rates of the hotels. These levels were the highest for Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach and New Hanover County since FY 2007-2008 and since 2011 for Kure Beach. The positive June report followed a negative report from May, in which the ROT stats for Wrightsville Beach were 10.13-percent lower than the same time the previous year. Braden said she hopes to receive the ROT statistics for July next week.
Braden also said the CVB has begun work on all of the enhancements planned for the Wilmington and Beaches website, including additional multi-field search options, a promotional section on the main site about what is new in the area and promotional videos. These new additions could be launched by the end of October, she said. Online traffic to the collective Wilmington and Beaches website increased by 73 percent from last year.
Committee member Preston Davenport revealed to the WBMAC that the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla would be instituting a text to vote system for the new people’s choice award at this year’s flotilla, which will be the second prize for the event from a monetary standpoint at $1,500. Spectators will be able to text “vote” and the boat number of their choice, and the results will be tallied to determine the winner. Davenport said this new addition would be one of the main aspects of the marketing for the flotilla this year.
After a period of time where it was inactive, committee member Sue Bulluck said the Wrightsville Beach Chamber of Commerce will hold a reorganizational meeting at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at the Holiday Inn Resort, in order to name the new members of the eight-person volunteer organization. Bulluck also said the chamber would now be operating from a space in the Wrightsville Beach Visitors Center.
The WBMAC is also in the process of finding a new committee member to fill the vacant seat left by Shell Island Resort’s Edmund Puodziunas. Although the vacant position was posted on the town’s website, the nomination of a replacement will be postponed until the Oct. 11 board of aldermen’s meeting because the town did not receive any applications for the position by the deadline of Friday, Sept. 7.