Many of us just starting out after college or after starting a new job choose to rent their place to live. Eventually, we look to own a place and make it a reflection of our personalities.

A similar scenario has played out at the Galveston Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. After more than two decades working with a third-party company, the organization has brought its visitor website in-house and has rebranded itself to be Visit Galveston.

“It was time that we bought our house,” Galveston Island Chief Tourism Officer Michael Woody said. “Moving from renter to owner presents many benefits. The Visit Galveston staff can make changes to the website in real time and add photos, video and other information like blogs and press releases as soon as they become available.

“It’s great to have the keys to our most valuable and impactful communication tool as we continue to welcome visitors to our historic beach town. Big changes are taking place as creative and innovative minds look to elevate the resident and visitor experience on Galveston Island.”

Visitors to the new site, visitgalveston.com, will experience a one-stop-shop for Galveston tourism information and inspiration, including blogs, webcams, and interactive tours. Most notably, the site features customizable search and build-your-own itinerary tools.

Galveston tourism businesses also benefit from the new site, where they can offer deals to the public, add special events or provide general updates on their attractions and organizations.

Visit Galveston launched the new website to coincide with the organization’s ongoing rebranding efforts, which included the organization’s name and logo change.

Coinciding with the new website is the launch of Visit Galveston’s new visitor guide, Island Soul. The magazines are being distributed locally through hotels, vacation rental properties and by the Visit Galveston sales and marketing staff, who also will take copies of the publications to conferences and consumer events. In addition, they will be sent to Texas Welcome Centers throughout the state, targeting tourists who are on their way to the area.

Among Island Soul extras is a digital flip book. This online component allows for partners to embed links in their messaging that enables readers to go directly to their websites. Another feature of Island Soul magazine is the addition of Marketplace. This provides smaller businesses access to advertise in the magazine at a lower price and provides a look that resembles the editorial content of the publication.

“Partners will have the ability to change their messaging in Island Soul during the course of the year,” Visit Galveston Business Development Manager Scott Moon said. “So, if a business wants to convey a holiday-themed message from September through January, we can accommodate that. Then, they can switch to a spring and summer message for the second half of the year.”

Park board meetings typically take place at 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 601 23rd St.

Mary Beth Bassett is the public relations director for the Galveston Island Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Park Board of Trustees.

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