WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Wielding a $734,000 budget, the marketing apparatus of Wrightsville Beach is prepared to make gains after a year of lockdowns and social restrictions. Overseen by the Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau, this year’s marketing budget for the beach town represents a 22.5% increase compared to two years ago.
The bureau’s coffers are funded by room occupancy taxes collected at temporary rentals in New Hanover County’s three beach towns. That 6% tax is split into two blocks; half of it goes to funding beach nourishment and promoting travel and tourism throughout New Hanover County, while the second half fuels projects at the specific town from which the tax was collected.
Among the planned expenditures, social media will be a dominant force: $130,000 for ad campaigns on search engines and social media platforms; $20,000 to contract with influencers; $68,000 for ads on audio and visual streaming platforms like Hulu and Spotify.
Kim Hufham, president of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, wrote to Port City Daily in an email that county beach towns “experienced increases in Room Occupancy Tax Collections during most of the Covid months, with the exception of the lockdown months.”
“The Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau post-covid…