Sarasota News Leader

03/29/2013

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MORE PROMOTION Jim Shirley, executive director of the Sarasota County Arts and Cultural Alliance (far right) addresses a joint Tourism Development Council/County Commission meeting last fall. Photo by Norman Schimmel A VISIT SARASOTA COUNTY CONSULTANT RECOMMENDS A BIGGER INVESTMENT FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR TO DRAW TOURISTS TO THE COUNTY By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor While he stressed he was not making a pitch Geist said during the advisory board's March for more public money, Bill Geist, president 21 meeting, "but you're getting outgunned of Zeitgeist Inc. and a consultant to Visit Sara- by a lot of destinations in this state and the sota County, urged members of the Sarasota Southeast." County Tourism Development Council (TDC) Palm Beach, for example — which also conto work with other siders itself an arts and county officials to incultural capital, just as crease private investSarasota County — it's not at the Sarasota County does, ment in promotion of complete shallow end of the pool when it he noted — has an anthe county to tourists. comes to marketing itself, but you're nual promotion bud"Sarasota County — getting outgunned by a lot of destinations get of about $9 milit's not at the complete in this state and the Southeast. lion. Fort Lauderdale's shallow end of the budget is $18 million, Bill Geist President pool when it comes Geist added; Miami's, Zeitgeist Inc. to marketing itself," $22 million.

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