CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — UPDATE: After hearing from the community, Visit Corpus Christi will host a public event on May 18 to present the results of their Destination Next town halls.
Visit CC hired a consulting firm to conduct a survey that was sent to city workers, the downtown management district, and local business owners. In April, the organization heard from people who live in Corpus Christi.
“We were able to gather public feedback about different aspects like air service expansion, local attractions, local businesses,” America Segura, public relations manager for Visit CC said. How we need to allocate our time or resources.”
Segura said the project is the single most important thing it will accomplish in 2023 and will set the stage for the next four-year strategic plan and the future of tourism in the city.
The Destination Next presentation starts at 8 a.m. May 18 at the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Center for the Arts Warren Theater, at 6300 Ocean Drive.
On Wednesday, Visit Corpus Christi hosted two town hall sessions as part of the second step to creating a four-year tourism strategic plan.
The first session took place on Wednesday morning and was hosted on Padre Island at Hardknocks, while the second was in the evening at Brewster Street Ice House downtown.
“We don’t want to write a strategic plan and create a program that doesn’t have the community’s buy-in and community’s voice,” Brett Oetting, president, and CEO of Visit Corpus Christi said.
Oetting added the first step in the process was conducting a survey with the stakeholders and community leaders.
Then the rest of the community got their chance.
In breakout sessions, they pitched what they think can help tourism in Corpus Christi.
"I think we need to bring some more music. We need to bring back Fiesta de la Flor. We did a kind of a mess up on that, but we need to bring back music,” 17-year-old Jacob Longoria, a resident of the downtown area said.
“We need more venues," Hilda Perez Garcia said, a North Padre Island resident. "We need a place where we can have a wedding destination. We can have weddings and graduation parties. We have not one single venue on the island. We need more restaurants.”
"We're really looking for an event center out here," Merida May Mendoza, business owner and resident of North Padre Island said. "A place where they can go to hold, not only events but maybe have live music. So they don't always have to go over the bridge. You live on the island for a reason, we love it out here."
"I think generally people want to see nicer venues, access to venues. Sporting venues, so they can bring—if they're interested in soccer, or baseball or whatever sport. There was a lot of talk about not much access to venues. Or not much venues at all," a resident said.
Participants also shared what major issues Corpus Christi has to bring in tourism.
“It takes time. Big projects cost millions of dollars and if you don’t have a developer or investor, you’re going to turn to local government and that involves the taxpayer at that point,” John said.
Some other things mentioned were safety, infrastructure and airfare.
Visit Corpus Christi hired consultant MMGY NextFactor for the second time. They helped develop a three-year plan back in 2020.
That plan is set to be completed this summer. MMGY Next Factor has developed plans for cities all over the world using their Destination Next Assessment.
“Their Destination Next Assessment actually allows us to gauge Corpus Christi’s success and status as a tourism community against everybody else that has done it,” Oetting said.
“Hopefully they’ve walked away with a lot of information. There was a lot of participation, a lot of wonderful ideas," Perez Garcia said.
On May 18, the results of the feedback will be presented to the public. Visit Corpus Christi and will then finalize their plan to launch in Oct.
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