Jacksonville 904 February March 2014 : Page 17

with a guide on the first visit, as currents can change rapidly and it can be quite a challenge swimming back out on the wrong tide. The most famous residents in the Exuma Cays are just a 5-minute boat ride from the grotto. The world famous swimming pigs of Big Major’s Cay spend their sunny days swimming out to approaching skiffs in search of water-melon rinds and vegetables. They’re friendly enough, as wild pigs go, but they do get excited about snacks, so take care when approaching. Escaping to the Exuma Cays is easy. Hop a commercial flight from Fort Lauderdale or Miami directly to George Town on Great Exuma and charter a boat to the cays from there, or fly directly to Staniel Cay from Fort Lauderdale on Watermakers Air or from Nassau on Flamingo Air. ˾ Adventure Landing in Jacksonville Beach ATTRACTING ATTENTION Marketing an attraction presents its own set of challenges Conventional wisdom abounds when it comes to marketing a product. But when your product is an attraction, like a museum, amusement park or roadside corn maze, finding your niche can be a little trickier. However, according to Julie Dion, president of Dion Marketing in Jacksonville Beach, marketing an attraction isn’t really all that different from many other products. “Just like with a product, you’re trying to convince your consumer to do something,” she says. “Where is your audience? What is your budget? “The differences are the avenues that you go about advertising,” she continues. “You might try to align your product with travel and tourism products in your market.” She also suggests reaching out to the area visitors bureau, who are already marketing the city as a destination. Think about forming a partnership with a restaurant nearby. “Attractions lend themselves to partnerships,” says Dion. “You can go to them and say, ‘Hang up our posters and flyers, we’ll put your logo on our website and give your employees tickets,’ and they eat it up. “Marketing is putting together that plan,” Dion explains. “But that’s not when it’s done. That’s when you have to start planning for next year.” ˾ by Jocelyn Tolbert February 2014 : 904theMagazine.com : 17

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