New ‘destination stewardship’ workshops scheduled here

A new round of “destination stewardship initiative” workshops are coming up in Port Aransas, according to a consultant involved in the events.

“Information-packed” sessions will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2; and from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, said Cathy Ritter, founder of Better Destinations, a consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado.

The workshops will be in the Port Aransas ISD administration building at 100 S. Station St.

Ritter said both workshops will include:

• A report by Denise Miller, EVP of Strategic Marketing & Research Insights, providing findings from a consumer survey sharing attitudes and perceptions of Port A and testing response to three possible campaign concepts to encourage respect for the local lifestyle and resources. Miller also will list findings from resident and business surveys.

• A report by Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, an organization focused on global tourism sustainability. He’ll talk about best practices for managing tourism from coastal destinations in the U.S., the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

• The Port Aransas Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce’s marketing agency will explain three different concepts for a messaging campaign aimed at encouraging visitors to care for the beach and marine creatures and be mindful of the local lifestyle.

“In our opinion, all three of these concepts are fun and impactful and reflect well on Port A,” Ritter said. “The Tourism Bureau & Chamber is really interested in hearing what local residents think, so we’re hoping for a good turnout.”

Folks interested in attending may sign up here: www.portaransas.org/chamber/improve/port-a-way/

The tourism bureau began holding the workshops in December to “explore ways to educate vacationers about reducing their impacts on the community and beach,” according to a news release from the tourism bureau.

“ This project gives our whole community an opportunity to come together around ways we can encourage visitors to blend in with, not disrupt our very special way of life,” Brett Stawar said as the workshops were kicking off. Stawar is president and CEO of the tourism bureau and chamber.

Ritter has been facilitating the workshops. Her consulting firm specializes in “maximizing the benefits of tourism while addressing impacts to achieve overall positive outcomes, especially for those who call a destination home,” the release said.

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