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Lee County tries new face in German market – The News

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A local hotel leader said she looks forward to working with the Frankfurt-based marketing and public relations agency Lee County has hired to promote German visits.

“I met the owner and her PR rep last week: Out of the gate, they had some brilliant ideas,” said Jeanne Bigos. She’s sales and marketing director for The Outrigger resort on Fort Myers Beach, which long has been a magnet for European visitors.

Lee County Visitor and Convention on Wednesday announced that Global Communications Experts has become the bureau’s representative in Germany.

The agency has more than 25 clients including the Canary Island Tenerife, the Caribbean Island Barbados, Spiekeroog island in the North Sea, luxury hotel St. Regis Bora-Bora, Travel Charme Hotels and Resorts.

Its duties for Lee County will include maintaining and expanding the local visitor bureau’s contacts with tour operators, travel agencies, airline partners and consumers. It will manage all marketing and PR activities in Germany for the bureau.

The agency replaces Vera Sommer of Vera Sommer Touristik Marketing, which had worked for the bureau since 1995. An evaluation committee in August ranked Global Communications Experts’ proposal above two others, including Sommer’s. County commissioners endorsed the committee action on Sept. 25.

Germany is the top international feeder market for Lee County tourism. Survey-based estimates for the visitor bureau show that nearly 118,000 German-origin visitors used local paid accommodations between Oct. 11, 2011, and July 12 of this year.