By Donald Wittkowski
A new vacation guide for Sea Isle City will feature a splashy look when it makes its debut next year in a magazine-style format.
Called “Explore Sea Isle,” the tourist-friendly publication will showcase the city’s shopping, dining, lodging and entertainment attractions. It will also include a listing of community events in 2018.
The Sea Isle City Chamber of Commerce and Revitalization, which produces the vacation guide, plans to print 20,000 copies. The publication will be distributed to hotels, real estate offices, local businesses, highway rest stops and the Sea Isle City Welcome Center.
“We will also mail one directly to every one of the 7,000 homes in Sea Isle,” said Christopher Glancey, the Chamber of Commerce president.
Separate from the Chamber’s publication, the Sea Isle Tourism Office will continue to publish the city’s own Visitors Guide. The guide will also be available on the Sea Isle website at www.visitsicnj.com, as it has been in the past.
A calendar of events, beach information, details about the city’s recreation programs, a listing of places to stay and other handy tips for tourists will be part of the guide’s 2018 edition.
“In short, it will have all the pertinent info residents and visitors are used to seeing in the Visitors Guide,” city spokeswoman Katherine Custer said.
The Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the city, launched a visitors guide four years ago in a brochure-size format. Wanting a bigger publication, the Chamber is creating the magazine-like Explore Sea Isle, allowing the town to showcase its attractions in a more eye-catching design, Glancey explained.
“It’s going to be a much bigger guide for the people who come here,” he said. “It’s going to be bigger, more colorful and will also have articles about local people and businesses.”
Advertisers will also benefit from the bigger format, giving them more space to feature their products and services, Glancey noted.
Explore Sea Isle will also be available online at www.seaislechamber.com. The digital edition will include links to local businesses.
“It will give us an opportunity to focus on the businesses,” said Mickey Coskey, owner of Seven Mile Publishing, the marketing consultant for the Chamber.
At the same time, the Chamber plans to make a bigger push on social media to promote Sea Isle as a vacation destination, Glancey and Coskey said.
Like every other beach resort along the Jersey Shore, Sea Isle is trying to distinguish itself amid fierce competition for the tourist dollar. The Chamber’s new vacation guide will be one of the centerpieces of Sea Isle’s strategy to separate itself from the clutter.
On a typical summer weekend, about 50,000 to 60,000 visitors will pour into Sea Isle, a town with a year-round population of 2,100. During peak summer weekends, such as the Fourth of July, the number of tourists will balloon to 65,000 to 75,000, city officials say.
Hoping to entice all those visitors to keep coming back again and again, Sea Isle’s Tourism Commission launched a $100,000 summer marketing campaign in 2017 featuring the theme “The Forecast is Fun!” The 2018 tourism campaign is expected to be unveiled in a few months.
Hardly surprising, beach images were a recurring theme in the 2017 summer marketing campaign. The campaign blended more traditional forms of advertising such as billboards, print media and visitor guides with a digital marketing strategy that recognized the upward trend in mobile communication.