DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Daytona Beach’s tourism industry is adjusting to a new post-pandemic normal.
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Management at hotels and vacation rental properties say they are seeing fewer guests this year than in previous years.
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However, the city’s Area Convention and Visitors Bureau said the numbers are just starting to level out after a statewide boost during covid-19.
Tourism officials said the travel market is becoming more competitive. That’s why right now, campaigns advertising a Daytona Beach vacation can be seen across the country.
“This year we did something completely innovative and did a 3D, anamorphic billboard in Times Square. It got a lot of attention because people were like Daytona Beach? Didn’t see that coming,” said Lori Campbell Baker, Executive Director of Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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General Manager of the Hard Rock Hotel, Androse Bell has noticed a shift. But he admits, the state’s tourism industry was spoiled for a long stretch.
“Now we are all back to competing for each other’s businesses and we just have to do a better job at it. It is just up to us to get that message across as to why they want to come to our beach instead of the beaches on the west coast,” said Bell.
The condition of the beaches has not helped the condo and AirBnb market either. CEO of Salty Dog Vacation Rentals, Kirsta Goodrich is still trying to work around the impacts.
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“I know our numbers going back to 2019 are lower occupancy by a pretty substantial amount this fall compared to other falls. Seeing what looks like a war zone when you’re going up and down the beach can be shocking,” said Goodrich.
The tourism bureau is working on several campaigns to prepare for 2024.
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