Space Coast Office of Tourism
The Space Coast Office of Tourism is the body responsible for the marketing of tourism operations in Brevard County, Florida. The office is funded through the tourism tax, which is then used to provide advertising and marketing for the region and to develop tourism-related programs.
The Space Coast Office of Tourism covers the Brevard County, which extends 72 miles (116 km) along the coast of Florida, an area which covers part of the Space Coast. Funding for the office comes from a 5% Tourist Development Tax, which is collected from hotels and other tourist accommodation.
The region has traditionally had a strong focus on tourism through the space industry, and the industry accounted for as much as 15% of the tourism in the region, but with a reduction in shuttle launches this dropped to under 5% by 2005. Accordingly, the office had to move their focus to alternative tourism operations, selling "beaches, cruise ships and nature tourism", and after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, the Space Shuttle was dropped from their advertising campaigns. Although the Discovery's launch in 2005 did see a return of astronaut imagery, the region's dependency on the space industry was much reduced, and by 2011 when the final Space Shuttle mission took place, the Space Coast Office of Tourism argued that the reduced dependency on the industry would allow the region to cope with the expected economic downfall.
The office is responsible for advertising, and traditionally they have focused on consumer markets. This has included advertising in newspapers (both within Florida and in parts of northwestern and southwestern United States), billboards, posters and television advertising, with their first television campaign screening in 1995. In 1992 the office had a budget of $2.5 million, of which $1 million was directed to consumer advertising. By 1998, that figure had changed to $4 million over two years.
Along with their role in attracting tourists through advertising, the office develops tourism programs, events and information campaigns. These have included a 12-day educational tour for students from India, a course on boating ecotourism through a partnership with the University of Florida Brevard County Extension Office, parades, and a "beach bus" promoting the region's coastline.
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- "Boating Eco-Tourism Course Offered (Press Release)", Targeted News Service, September 13, 2011
- Bumpus-Hooper, Lynne (December 7, 1998), "Parade of Glenn Will Be Short, Sweet, Sentimental", Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, Florida, p. A8
- "Beach Bus to Promote Space Coast Tourism (Press Release)", US Federal News Service, November 6, 2006