Red tide took a toll on our beaches, wildlife, and businesses this year. On Tuesday, Lee County accepted a $77,500 Visit Florida Tourism Recovery Grant to help with tourism recovery efforts in the county following the red tide blooms. The county approved in a 5-0 vote.
This year's red tide bloom has been one of the worst in recent history, but the recent movement in the Gulf waters, due to Hurricane Michael, may have stirred things up a bit in a positive way.
The grant money will go toward advertising Southwest Florida as a destination on social media.
"“We’ll use that funding to market the area on social media and in the New York Times to attract people," Cecil Pendergrass, Chairman of the Lee County Commission, said. “Our business owners need it, our tourism and hospitality employees need it.”
In late September, Collier County applied for a similar grant totaling $70,000.
When will the new marketing push go into effect? The county isn't set on a date. But the New York Times ad will kick off first, and the rest will follow.