Because they are complex and related, it's difficult to distinguish between the Heritage golf tournament, destination marketing, destination management, hospitality tax, accommodations tax and tourism.
Confusion is increased because your editorials usually focus on the wrong issues. The editorial headline that the Lowcountry is better off because the Heritage will remain is 100 percent accurate. Unfortunately, editorial comments focused on political issues rather than business possibilities. Editors and elected public officials are neither destination management nor marketing professionals. Let the professionals discuss "how-to" tactics.
Town officials hire destination marketing professionals. Elected officials should learn to evaluate annual results and assess return on investment from tax revenue allocated to promote tourism. Hired marketing professionals should justify their activities.
The Clemson economic impact study validates the success of the Heritage. Total spending is huge, and the Heritage is a terrific tax revenue generator. But be careful and do not equate the Heritage with destination marketing or tourism or tax revenue. Different research measures results of advertising, promotions and all events. You should separate the success of the Heritage and the success of tourism.
A deeper understanding of tourism is overdue on Hilton Head. Tourism creates higher paying jobs than residents realize. Resident quality of life continues to be enriched because of successful tourism businesses. Focus more on outcomes, less on tactics and politics. Clarify how destination marketing works and when it's successful.
Elected leaders would serve constituents better if they explain how traveler spending impacts our local and state economies and creates jobs.
Hilton Head Island