Authorities Approve Branding for Promoting “Beyond the Beach” Tour – The Defuniak Herald & Beach Breeze

NEW LOGO approved for Walton County’s “Beyond the Beach” tourism promotion effort.

By DOTTY NIST

The “sister brand” has been approved to promote Walton County tours, with the new brand highlighting Walton County offerings away from the beach.

The approval came at the Oct. 11 meeting of the Walton County Board of Commissioners (BCC) at the Walton County Courthouse.

Kelli Carter, director of marketing for the Walton County Department of Tourism, presented the proposed brand to county commissioners.

Carter explained that the sister brand would be an addition rather than a replacement for the existing “South Walton” brand which “has years of equity and recognition”.

She explained that in a referendum in 2020, voters approved a 2% tourism development tax which is now levied on short-term rentals in the area north of the bay. This tax for tourism promotion purposes was previously only levied in the south of the bay (at a rate of 5% in this area).

Carter said that voter endorsement led Tourism Department staff to immerse themselves in discovering all that Walton County has to offer “from the Alabama state line to the Gulf of Mexico,” which is an ongoing effort.

She also explained that research is being done on visitors coming to stay in other parts of the county other than the beach. “We know it’s probably a different visitor than the visitor who comes to the beach,” Carter said, adding that beach visitors could also visit other areas of the county if they were given more information about the location. north of the bay. Region.

“So while this research is being collected,” Carter said, “we understand that…we have a responsibility and an obligation as a tourism department to tell the full story of Walton County authentically, and we want to make sure the public knows…there is something more to offer than the beaches.”

Carter said the tourism department is now working with more than 20 North Bay accommodation partners as well as more than 60 dining and shopping establishments in that region to ensure that information about these businesses is available. for visitors and potential visitors.

This promotional effort, known as “Beyond the Beach”, was described by Carter as encompassing “everything but white sand and turquoise water”.

She displayed the proposed sister logo for the effort, for which a similar font and colors similar to the well-known brand logo “South Walton” were used, asking the BCC for its approval to move forward with the promotion. active from “Beyond the Beach”. effort using “this icon”.

Walton County Commission Chairman Mike Barker acknowledged the “hard work” and “great ideas” that went into Beyond the Beach’s proposal by Carter and his team. “It looks awesome,” he said.

District 2 Commissioner Danny Glidewell referenced recent headline-grabbing accolades with DeFuniak Springs. “People are discovering our little town,” he observes.

“I think this branding effort will accentuate what you all are already doing to promote Walton County, and I appreciate your hard work and effort,” he told Carter.

In a public comment, South Walton County resident Barbara Morano also expressed her appreciation, noting that she thought residents were looking forward to seeing the new sister brand with the “South Walton” trustmark.

The commissioners approved the brand new effort by unanimous vote.

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