The beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel earned the prestigious platinum honor in the Visitor & Convention Bureau/Destinations category for "The Shelling Mecca."
It was part of the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) receiving four Adrian Awards, including the coveted platinum award last week. The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) honored the VCB's accomplishments at an awards gala on Jan. 30 at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Approximately 10 million viewers watched the CBS Sunday Morning segment during two airings that promoted the island's Shellebration: The 75th anniversary of the Sanibel shell fair.
The public relations team also earned a gold award for its video news release of the sinking of the USS Mohawk, which was distributed to more than 500 national and local affiliate stations across the country. More than 11 million people saw the footage of the sinking just 30 miles west of Sanibel.
The annual competition - hosted by HSMAI professionals from all segments of travel, hospitality and tourism - drew nearly 1,100 entries from around the world. Winners were recognized at the largest and most prestigious travel marketing competition globally for outstanding achievement in advertising, public relations and digital marketing in the travel industry. Lee's VCB, in partnership with its agency, MMGY Global, earned a platinum and a gold award in public relations as well as two silvers in digital marketing.
The VCB's digital marketing team won a silver award for a Pinterest and Facebook campaign that inspired travel to the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel. As a result views and fans increased substantially making it a highly successful digital strategy.
Digital marketing won another silver award for its mobile friendly welcome email campaign. As a result, each new subscriber who signed up for emails on the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel had an immediate response. This strategy generated thousands of referrals and guidebook requests.
"Earning four awards including a platinum award, in this international travel marketing competition, recognizes our work as some of the best in the world and acknowledges the outstanding results we are achieving for our destination," said Tamara Pigott, VCB executive director, which markets our Beaches internationally for leisure and group travel.