By MADDY VITALE
A winter storm is in the upcoming forecast, but Sea Isle City is looking ahead at warmer, sunny skies when the crowds of tourists return to enjoy the beaches, dining, shops, a long lineup of special events and the Promenade.
The tourism slogan “Reconnect in Sea Isle!” will continue to be the family-friendly invitation to visitors to head to the resort.
The 2022 summer season was the topic at the city’s Tourism Commission meeting Thursday, where marketing consultant Mickey Coskey gave a recap of the 2021 season and detailed some things planned for this summer.
The budget for the marketing campaign “Reconnect in Sea Isle!” is $95,000 and is spread out over many different ways to showcase and advertise to visitors all that the shore town has to offer.
“All and all, it was a really good year,” Coskey said during her presentation.
Here is the 2021-22 commercial to “Reconnect in Sea Isle!”
Coskey explained that Sea Isle’s vacationers continue to come primarily from New Jersey and Pennsylvania and then Washington, D.C., New York, Virginia and Delaware.
Digital billboards are in place, one of which is on the Walt Whitman Bridge in Philadelphia and remains an important part of the advertising campaign, Coskey said. On Dec. 27, the campaign gave motorists an idea for their New Year’s Resolution – spend more time in Sea Isle.
“We want to remind them to come to Sea Isle,” she noted, adding that the newer use of digital billboards makes it easier to change the messages.
In February, the main campaign to “Reconnect in Sea Isle!” will be displayed on the billboards, including another billboard located on I-95 South in Philadelphia.
The top age group of people visiting the resort is the 55 to 64-year-old demographic at 21 percent, with 25-34 right underneath at 20 percent.
The tourism campaign will also use social media, the tourism website visitsicnj.com, television and online advertising, new rack cards displayed in businesses and the Welcome Center, a reference guide, and a commercial that highlights ways to “Reconnect” in the resort.
While the initial thought was to create a new commercial, Coskey said that the one rolled out for 2021 was so well-received that it will remain the main commercial for the upcoming summer season.
“Why create a new commercial when it works?” she asked. “You want people to see it and connect.”
Women continue to be the top Sea Isle tourism website users at 56 percent, with men at 44 percent.
In addition, Coskey said that there was an increase in viewers of the tourism website with 184,277 users, up almost 16 percent from the prior year. The top sections on the website people look for are as follows: the special events calendar, SIC Cam, beach tags and beach jitney.
Tourism Commission representative Chris Oney said the new rack cards will provide general information about the city and directs people to the tourism website to explore options further.
The reference guides, once officially approved by Mayor Leonard Desiderio, will provide pages of photos, a map of things to do and a host of other things visitors and residents will find helpful, including the lineup of the big concerts, movies and other events.
“People are always asking for a map,” said Oney, who helped create the reference guide with Coskey.
He noted that a map is new to this year’s reference guide. The guides will be available in businesses and also mailed to homes.
Due to the pandemic, the reference guide, formerly called the visitors guide, was not printed since 2019’s summer season.
Sea Isle City Public Information Officer Katherine Custer noted that the mayor has not seen the reference guide yet.
“This will be pending the mayor’s approval,” Custer said of mailing out and making the reference guides available. “My inclination is that he will probably be very happy with it. I think it will be a good thing, and I think it looks terrific. It will go to every property owner in town. It is something new and we haven’t had one since 2019.”