Sarasota Tourism and Real Estate Weaving Fortunes Together


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, August 26th, 2015 – The tourism–real estate market synergy, an oft-repeated industry thinking that one sector advancing benefits the other, looks at work anew as marketing campaigns unveiled recently are poised to further beef up the record growth of the local tourist trade realized in early 2015.

One major effort which appears firmly on track is building brand awareness for Sarasota County as “Florida’s Cultural Coast.” This marketing thrust, which should likewise help bolster market attention to Sarasota homes for sale, currently rides on the early successes of a new branding campaign, “Sarasota: Where Artistic Expression and Inspiration Meet.”

Major target areas

Sarasota Tourism and Real Estate Weaving Fortunes Together

New York and Boston are among the principal target markets of this campaign which already saw Sarasota as the presenting sponsor of the six-week free concert series Broadway in Bryant at the Big Apple and the Tanglewood Music Festival just outside Boston. In the 2014 run for these two events, Sarasota reached over 300,000 culturally inclined folks who are not only prospective tourists but also potential home buyers from the two cities. Visit Sarasota County (VSC), the prime mover for these promotional initiatives, is replicating such marketing outreach efforts in 2015 and 2016.

Separately, a new branding effort for the city of Sarasota’s downtown core was launched in early 2015 under a new motto: “We Are Downtown.” Aimed at matching the aggressive marketing of the Mall at University Town Center and Lakewood Ranch, this new promotions move for the city’s urban core has also been hailed as an opportune time, given the spate of new construction of condos and hotels in the downtown district.

More downtown business openings

The ad campaign’s timing is also perfect for a sizable number of commercial establishments which have opened or soon to enter the downtown market. This September 2015, Main Street will have its very first bowling alley along with a bar and restaurant.

The newcomers which have recently set up shop in this major downtown street include the national jewelry chain Alex and Ani, clothing boutique Fugate, and specialty retailer Fit2Run. Also in the wings are Paddy Wagon Irish Pub, A World of Beer, and Mandeville Beer Garden at the nearby Rosemary District.

Targeting markets abroad

Up north in Bradenton, major marketing moves are likewise brewing to promote the city as a travel destination, initiatives which can also rub off to the local property market. Early in August 2015, the Manatee County Commission lined up a $5.34 million budget in fiscal 2016 and $7.4 million in fiscal 2017 for the marketing plan and budget of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). The CVB’s 2017 allocation includes $2.3 million for the World Rowing Championship which the city and Sarasota are hosting for that year.

Targeting feeder markets such as the UK and Central Europe form a significant part of the CVB’s marketing plan. Visitor arrivals from these places were notably up 17% from 2014. For fiscal 2016, the bureau is projected to spend some $3.1 million on luring visitors both internationally and domestically to further add glitter not only to tourism but also to Bradenton and Sarasota homes for sale.