Helpful Information about the New "Port A Way" Initiative
WHAT IS RESPECTFUL TOURISM?
This is a phrase we are creating to describe the kind of tourism that we want to encourage in Port Aransas. Our goal is to welcome our visitors to vacation in the Port A Way. We invite them to blend into our way of life while they're here, to Live the Island Life that we get to enjoy every day. That means showing respect for our slower pace of living, being considerate of others, and pitching in to keep our beach clean and neighborhoods quiet.
WHY IS THE PORT ARANSAS TOURISM BUREAU & CHAMBER OF COMMERCE UNDERTAKING THIS EFFORT?
While record visitation to Port A last summer brought unprecedented spending into our community, all of that activity came at a cost. Careless and even rude behavior impacted our local quality of life and even tarnished the vacation experiences for some visitors. By inspiring visitors to join us in enjoying and respecting our way of living, Port A can take a big step toward ensuring that our top economic driver supports our local lifestyle.
WHO IS INVOLVED IN DEVELOPING THE STRATEGY?
The Port Aransas Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce will be inviting our whole community to join in on this process. We'll be defining the Port A Way with input from everyone—elected leaders, business owners, community organizations, and residents.
To assist us in making sure all voices are heard, we are bringing in expert resources. Better Destinations, a highly-regarded destination management consulting company, will guide us in developing a messaging campaign that will hit home with visitors while reflecting who we are and what we value. Better Destinations is also enlisting Strategic Marketing & Research Insights (SMARInsights) to conduct consumer and resident research and The Travel Foundation to share insights on best practices for coastal and marine tourism around the globe.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS AND TIMELINE?
To ensure that all Port A voices are heard, we are scheduling a series of three community workshops. Each has a specific purpose. We also will be fielding a resident survey and consumer research to understand perceptions of Port A, test messaging concepts, and gain insight into ways to change visitor behavior for the better. Our goal is to share our Port A Way messaging campaign along with our next summer campaign.
WHO BENEFITS FROM THIS?
First and foremost, this initiative is aimed at improving quality of life for residents. By encouraging more harmony in our community and increasing understanding of local practices and expectations, we also believe this campaign will create better experiences for visitors and enhance Port A's reputation as a great family destination.
WHO IS PAYING FOR THIS?
The Port A Way initiative is privately funded by the Port A Tourism Bureau & Chamber of Commerce. We are recognized as the official destination marketing and management organization (DMO) for Port Aransas and are funded in part by city lodging taxes and by private membership funds. Our organization serves Port Aransas and Mustang Island.
WHO WILL HAVE ACCESS TO THE FINAL RESULTS?
We are committed to a transparent and inclusive process and look forward to sharing updates and the final results with our community and members of the public, especially future visitors. We will do this by posting information on the project page of our website, as well as through community and media outreach.