As Red Tide Lingers on the Suncoast, Tourism Leaders are Working on Keeping Visitors Here As Well

Visit Sarasota County will focus on marketing through Google Images in 2019.
Visit Sarasota County will focus on marketing through Google Images in 2019.
Updated: Jan. 18, 2019 at 7:33 PM EST
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SARASOTA (WWSB) - When visitors search Sarasota County online, instead of seeing pictures of our beautiful beaches, they see horrible images of when red tide was taking over the Suncoast. That is why Visit Sarasota is now stepping in to change that.

"Making sure that people have the accurate information on the real conditions in Sarasota,” Virginia Hayley, President of Visit Sarasota County, explains.

Thanks to a grant from Visit Florida, Sarasota County is implementing a program to help improve the images of the Suncoast on Google Maps to show what our area actually looks like right now. Plus, they want local businesses to do the same.

"This way we get them on the road to recovery, and if they’re doing well, all of us will do well,” says Hayley.

They will be teaching businesses throughout the county how to claim their business on Google Maps and how to improve their look and appeal to visitors - hoping this will help them get back on track after having a tough few months.

"Now that that’s behind us, you never get to remake that old money that you missed, but you get all these new improvements and new opportunities that’ll help us move forward,” Mark Andes, the owner of Island Life Hammock Company in Venice, tells us.

Visit Sarasota County will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, January 22nd for any business interested in learning how this works. Plus, they will also be hosting an in person workshop on February 2nd. You can find all the details here:

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