Tourists want to plan a vacation using easily accessible information, and those who loyally choose to vacation on Pleasure Island want things to stay familiar, said Judy Randall, owner of Randall Travel Marketing, told the Star-News.
She suggested the town spend less time focusing on re-branding the area – despite the ongoing mission by the county's three beach towns to phase out the "Cape Fear Coast" logo to better identify each town.
Town boards in Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach each adopted a joint resolution this month that addresses desired changes to the way the Cape Fear Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau markets and promotes each town.
The resolution, which came out of a meeting Nov. 18 of the three towns' mayors and other representatives, states the towns' leaders believe the CVB's marketing and public relations efforts "may not effectively represent the respective beach communities in their best possible light and could hamper their full potential for their growth and development in tourism."
The resolution recommends phasing out the term "Cape Fear Coast" as the official brand name for the three beaches and placing each beach name along with Wilmington in official logos and marketing materials.
But Randall, who works out of Charlotte, said research showed most people vacationing in the area refer to the area collectively as "Wilmington."
Someone sitting on the beach, she said, won't necessarily say they are in Kure Beach or Carolina Beach but will say they're in the Wilmington area if asked.
Councilman Dan Wilcox argued that the issue to bring the names of the beach towns to the forefront of advertising campaigns was not about creating a slogan but about recognizing the beaches' identities.
"When we talk about branding we're talking about our name as the beach and being advertised as Carolina Beach, not a subsidiary of Wilmington," Wilcox said.
The joint resolution is awaiting signatures of all three beach towns' mayors and will be submitted to the CVB and other agencies for consideration.