While last summer's record visitation generated historic economic returns for Port Aransas, the Texas beach community felt pressure from visitors who were out of step with their relaxed island lifestyle.
The Port Aransas Visitor Bureau & Chamber of Commerce reached out to Better Destinations' Cathy Ritter for help shaping a messaging campaign that would carry the voice of Port Aransas to desirable visitors.
The outcome -- to be introduced this spring -- is a "respectful tourism" campaign that will deliver straightforward messaging about honoring Port A's lifestyle, beach, and marine life in a fun and disarming way.
Along the way, in collaboration with Port A Tourism & Chamber CEO Brett Stawar, Cathy met with a range of community leaders to learn of concerns and opportunities. She also crafted a series of stakeholder workshops to ensure that residents, business owners, city leaders, nonprofits, and property managers had a say in the message and a stake in sharing it.
Their insights -- along with findings from resident and consumer surveys conducted by Strategic Marketing & Research Insights -- inspired Port A's agency of record, Madden Media. The creative team developed three highly original concepts and are doubling down on the one that tested best with both family and adult travelers.
To inspire Port Aransas to consider other ways of safeguarding their island home, the project enlisted the Travel Foundation in compiling best practices from other marine and coastal destinations. To close out the project, the Travel Foundation will lead a visioning session to identify other strategies for safeguarding the quality of their island and ensuring that tourism delivers strong benefits for people who call it home.