County Tourism Bureau Unveils New Marketing Efforts & Fresh Digs

Tourism

BY BRITTANY MATTIE SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY FEB 5, 2019

Visit Sarasota County recently celebrated the exciting redevelopment and grand opening of its Visitor Center at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. Decked out with engaging new displays encouraging travelers and visitors to explore all aspects of the county, the reveal of the makeover took place at the new downtown location on Fruitville Road. The completed renovations and newly installed design elements aim to create a warm, hospitable atmosphere, showcasing a destination region to newcomers as well as encouraging local residents to come learn what makes Sarasota County so special.

The Fruitville location is one of VSC’s five centers designed to welcome and inform visitors while here—including a kiosk at the Mall at University Town Center, the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, a shared locale at Bradenton Area Convention, the Visitors Bureau at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport and a mobile visitor center often seen at major community events. It also recently opened a small center inside of the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce and should be adding staff within a month, according to Sandrina McCloud, the visitors experience manager at VSC.

In 2017, When the county tourism development office moved in, walls were white and blank, sparsely filled brochure racks were set up, and folding tables acted as desks. After a fresh, modern transformation befitting the culture and beauty of Sarasota, find new banners/signage, artwork, photogenic shots of the area framed and videos playing on screens mounted on walls that have been painted in a tranquil blue-green, inspired by Sarasota’s sky/gulf color scheme. More racks have been brought in also—hundreds of brochures added from Visit Sarasota’s 575 member businesses—as well as information for tourists, and even those looking to become future residents. "More than anything, we are proud to offer a new place to welcome guests," says Britney Guertin, communications & content manager for VSC.

With easy accessibility, space and plenty of parking, the new and improved center leads visitors inside to a brand new circular, modern-looking front desk and a kiosk where they can take photos of themselves and company. There’s also a high-tech addition in the works—Sarasota-based S-One Holdings Corp. created an app that now allows users to take a photo with a iPhone or iPad, which will recognize the image and play a video related to it. Visit Sarasota plans to purchase the associated technology for its iPads by March so tourists can use it at the Visitors Center. Meanwhile, S-One plans to eventually make its app available for smartphones so anyone can use it anytime and anywhere while enjoying all that SRQ has to offer.

Visit Sarasota County Visitor Center, 1945 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-955-0991.

Photo courtesy of VSC's Facebook page.

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