By MADDY VITALE
The advertising campaign for the summer of 2021 proved successful in drawing crowds to Sea Isle City, showcasing attractions from dining to shopping to entertainment and above all else — the wide, sandy beaches.
During Thursday’s Tourism Development Commission meeting, members discussed the banner summer season and looked ahead to the summer of 2022 with a media campaign that will begin with digital billboards and a new commercial, among other highlights.
The tourism slogan, “Reconnect in Sea Isle!” will continue to be the family-friendly invitation to visitors to head to the resort.
In addition, there will be the return of the city’s visitors guide, which was not printed for the 2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to the cancellation of events and programs.
Tourism members summed up the sentiment for the past season by calling it a solid season.
“I think the marketing is really good, which is evidenced by the fact that people keep coming back,” Sea Isle City’s Public Information Officer Katherine Custer said during the meeting.
Here is the 2021 commercial to “Reconnect, Refresh, Relax: Reconnect in Sea Isle City, New Jersey.”
Mickey Coskey, marketing consultant for the Tourism Commission, gave a review of the 2021 campaign to the commission.
She also noted that going into the fall, the slogan remains “Reconnect in Sea Isle” and focuses on all of the events and attractions at the resort year round.
“Even though our campaign is reconnect, it is also all seasons and it ties into both seasons,” Coskey said of the summer into fall seasons. “There is a lot going on in the summer, but there is also a lot going on over the whole year.”
Coskey went over the campaign, including the city’s three tourism billboards strategically placed in the Philadelphia area to lure visitors to the shore.
“Every year we do a billboard campaign. We have three billboards,” she said. “They are digital and less expensive and we can change them.”
She noted that Chris Oney, Sea Isle’s tourism assistant, “really utilized it.” She said the digital billboards are a “nice way to change messages.”
In addition to the commercials and billboards, there were several other ways the message was delivered to tourists to visit Sea Isle in 2021, Coskey said.
“We always do the rack card and the travel guides,” she said, adding that the travel guides are going out earlier for 2022.
City Councilman Bill Kehner, liaison to the Tourism Commission, pointed out that the visitors guides will be welcomed back.
“A lot of people missed the guide,” Kehner said.
In addition, Coskey said that there was an increase in viewers of the tourism website visitsicnj.com with nearly 163,000 users, up almost 13 percent over 2020. The top sections on the website people look for are as follows: the calendar, SIC Cam, beach tags and beach jitney.
Women continue to be the top website users at 56 percent, with men at 44 percent.
“Women are the decision-makers when it comes to family vacations,” Coskey pointed out.
Visitors to Sea Isle are coming primarily from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., New York and Delaware.
Looking ahead for the marketing of the 2022 summer season, Oney said he would like to do more digital billboards, over the traditional ones.
“I don’t want to get rid of the billboards,” Oney said, adding that he would like to keep two traditional billboards and do away with one.
The print publications will remain the same, along with video production and web design.
“We will have a new video,” Oney added.