Collier County commissioners approved a $250,000 plan to create advertisements on social media outlets like Facebook and Facebook Live to help bring more tourists back to the area.
Angie Pine, owner of Lovejoy Antiques Jewelry & Watches, said she doesn’t mind that her county commissioners are giving her and other store owners a helping hand when it comes to the free advertisements.
“All publicity is good publicity,” Pine said.
Other workers at storefronts agree with the ad campaign initiative to increase tourism in the county.
“We need help to get more people down here to Southwest Florida and come into our stores,” said Nancy, an employee of Foot Gear Outdoor Lifestyle. “We have a lot to offer.”
County Tourism Director Jack Wert says the red tide is to blame for the loss of visitors.
“This is what these funds are there for,” Wert said. They’re for emergency use for advertisement. We used it after Hurricane Irma, and that helped us a lot to get people to come back with the message that we’re clear and open and ready for business.”
Wert says he’ll continue to have talks with scientists and experts about red tide to see how the commissioners plan will best play out.
But, for now, he just wants all the owners to know that the county has their backs.
“Our beaches are clean,” Wert said. “Our beaches are clear and open, ready for business, and it’s time to return to paradise.”