STUART, Fla.-- Known for its ship-wrecked coins and beautiful beaches, the Treasure Coast is a popular tourist destination, but now tourism officials are hoping to attract more visitors.
Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties have joined forces to launch a new Treasure Coast brand with the help of Visit Florida.
The Treasure Coast encompasses more than 60 miles of beaches, and all three counties are hoping the new brand will help put the Treasure Coast on the map.
"It gives us a way to reach different audiences and it gives us a way to introduce the Treasure Coast to people who hadn't been thinking about it," said Nerissa Okiye, the Tourism and Marketing Manager in Martin County.
Visit Florida's Treasure Coast launched in January, and all three counties believe it gives them a step up.
"Being small destinations it's hard for us to compete with some of the big destinations in Florida, so it's much easier if we pool all our resources together," said Allison McNeal, the Tourism Director in Indian River County.
The Treasure Coast brand has already been rolled out in Canada, and the tourism departments are trying to extend awareness about the Treasure Coast to more international markets.
"We also are going to be doing a lot of work in Germany and the UK using these new assets and creative that we have," McNeal said.
The tourism departments are using billboards, print, digital and social media to highlight its uncrowded beaches, small shops and restaurants, fishing and sporting activities and small town charm.
"It's the un-tourist attraction and allows people to get away from the noise and the stress. It's part of Florida that millions of people often drive right past, but this can help change that," said Charlotte Bireley, Director of Tourism and Marketing in St. Lucie County.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to reach additional markets while we are still able to do our individual marketing for what we know works for our area," Okie said.
The Treasure Coast has now launched a new website, FloridasTreasureCoast.com, which highlights many of the area's attractions, and also links people back to their individual county websites.
All three counties say they are hoping for a regional grant to target the Atlanta market next.