Ideas, idle gossip and occasionally important odds ’n’ ends
WE RECENTLY received an enthusiastic email from John Cooke, the new president of the Cape May Chamber of Commerce. It seems that Cape May has been chosen by TripAdvisor.com as one of a few select destinations to be highlighted in their Spotlight Destinations.
Cape May will be one of 80 destinations featured on the TripAdvisor homepage. A photo of Cape May and a 50-word description will appear in rotation with 79 other destinations. The photo and description will be joined by a link to Cape May’s TripAdvisor page and the Cape May Chamber of Commerce website.
So, what does that mean for Cape May? TripAdvisor is the world’s busiest tourism website. People rely on their user-generated content for unbiased reviews of hotels, restaurants, rental properties and more. It has 20 million registered members and tracked more than 40 million unique hits this past July alone. Even if Cape May is one of only 80 destinations to be featured on the homepage, that still means a half million unique visitors would have seen the Spotlight for Cape May this past July.
Doug McMain, owner of The Queen Victoria B&B put the impact in perspective for us: “We have about 3,000 check-ins per year, and about half of them visited TripAdvisor. Our webmaster recently told me that 75% of all travelers visit the site before booking a trip. Being featured on TripAdvisor in a group of 80 towns from all over the world definitely puts Cape May on the map in a premier way.”
Because they are registering such massive numbers, and because the Spotlight will be directly linked to www.capemaychamber.com, we asked John if he thought the chamber’s website was up to snuff for handling that kind of traffic – we wondered if he thought it would attract tourists or be a turn-off. “That’s a tough question,” John said. “The executive board met this morning [Monday] and discussed making changes to ensure a higher rate of viewer retention on our website.” When pressed for more information John said, “What I can tell you is that we are taking steps to work on the website.”
It is our opinion that the chamber’s website could use a serious revamp… as does Cape May city council’s. For a resort town of our caliber, it is a travesty not to have a tourism website that reflects the city’s qualities. Compare the aforementioned website to the Cape Cod chamber’s website (www.capecodchamber.org) or that of the tourism authority for the Outer Banks (www.outerbanks.org).
Fortunately, John seems to be conscious of this. “I would absolutely say this represents a significant change in the way that the chamber will be pursuing tourism,” he said. “In the past we have focused our advertising efforts entirely on print media. Since I became president I have promoted the idea of marketing Cape May to a global audience, and digital media is the only way to do that.” We’re right there with you, John – just because Cape May is a Victorian town doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be pursuing all the avenues that modern technology has to offer.
ATTENTION SUSAN NILES (or her friends): Your photos are ready and paid for. It is quite a cool picture, and we have been holding them for quite some time.
CAPE May can be quiet in November, but there are perks to year-round residence. Exit Zero was on hand Saturday for Martini Beach’s last night of the season, and while we will miss this spot in the winter months, it was a great send-off.
The good people at Martini Beach put out a gourmet buffet packed with some of our favorites: Moroccan chicken, stuffed flounder and a carving station stocked with turkey and pork. Like any self-respecting buffet patrons, we were determined to get our money’s worth and loaded our plates. We enjoyed our meal on the enclosed porch with a bottle of white wine (the buffet cost $15 and wine was discounted 15%, so it was impossible not to get our money’s worth).
Our meal was made even better thanks to music from the Eddie Morgan Trio. Later Geno White made an appearance on guitar, playing jazzy versions of Pink Floyd songs like “Money.” When spotted the next night at Collier’s and asked about the performance, he said “It was coool, man.” Cool indeed.