CHINOOK — The Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau executive director aims to see Pacific County move up from 22nd in visitor spending to the top half of Washington’s 39 counties in 2013.

“I want to be Washington’s beach,” Andi Day told members of the visitors bureau during the annual meeting on Thursday, May 9.

Day says the bureau’s hard work through its website, its public relations campaigns and members’ efforts can push the county up the list. She’d like to see Pacific County crack the Top 10 some day.

Lodging-tax collections for the city of Long Beach so far in 2013 are up 13 percent over 2012, Day reported. Similar growth in the rest of the county was listed among the 2013 goals. Visitor statistics tracked by the bureau were 23 percent better in April 2013 than in April 2012, and they are up 30 percent for the year to date.

“If we can maintain this level of growth, we will have the biggest year ... ever!” Day said to bureau members last week.

Day also lists developing competitive market analysis among the 2013 goals.

“(It’s) seeing what our competition is doing so that we might emulate success and avoid pitfalls and identify areas where we have exceptional offerings,” she said.

Day rallied the troops with a list of 11 things business owners can do to market their businesses and the area. They ranged from “Like” the bureau’s Facebook page to “Smile! In person, on the phone, online.”

Members also heard from Carol Zahorsky, who has handled public relations for the bureau for 15 years.

Among Zahorsky’s goals for 2013 is more travel writer visits to the Peninsula. There were seven in 2012; the goal is 10 or more for 2013.

Travel writers offer an excellent return on investment, she said. They generate interest far and wide.

Keleigh Schwartz gave an update on the bureau’s website, Funbeach.com.

The site logged 613,743 visits in 2012. Five other websites focused on tourism in metro areas averaged 339,238 visits in 2012. Funbeach.com logged 1,868,038 page views last year compared to 1,218,579 for the metros.

Average time spent on Funbeach.com was 4.34 minutes compared to 3.76 minutes for the big-city sites. The one area the metros averaged better than Funbeach.com was pages per visit.

Funbeach.com averaged 3.04 pages per visit and the metros average 4.29. In an interview after the meeting Schwartz attributed that to a particular metro-area website that skewed the average.

“They did a great job and raised the bar for the rest of us,” Schwartz said. “That’s the one area we’ve dropped in the last several years. We used to be a lot ‘stickier’ than we are both in terms of how long people are staying and how many pages they’re viewing. When we last redesigned the site we gained a lot in the other metrics and lost a little bit in this one, and now it’s time to work on this one again.”

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