Published in TB Business Magazine by Madelyn Galindo photos courtesy Visit Corpus Christi
Brett Oetting may not have been born in Texas, but as the saying goes, brhe got here as quickly as he could. A brfifth-generation Kansan, Oetting was brcontacted by a recruiter who knew brhow much he and his wife love the brwater. The Coastal Bend location—and brthe opportunity to build something bramazing—spurred them to take a leap brof faith.br
“I just really felt like this was an bropportunity where I could come in, brdo what I do best, and be a part of brsomething special,” he said.br
Visit Corpus Christi is a 501(c)(6) brorganization, driven by its vision to brsecure the city’s position as the Gulf brCoast Capital for coastal and outdoor brrecreational experiences, and its mission brto create a better community for locals brand visitors alike. Oetting related to brthis mission, ready to develop plans brfor sharing Corpus Christi regionally, brnationally and internationally.br
Visit Corpus Christi welcomed brOetting as Chief Executive Officer, and brhe began his new venture on March 16, br2020—the very day that Texas entered bra mandatory shutdown due to the brCOVID-19 pandemic. Undeterred, he brdove into his new role via Zoom. Even brworking remotely, Oetting soon began brto appreciate what he understood as the brarea’s “unique vibe of passion and grit, brand the culture of makers, doers and brcreators.”
Oetting brought to the table an brinsider’s view of what other cities are doing successfully, thanks to national tourism credentials. brAnd with a background in behavioral economics, he deeply brvalues data. He set to work leveraging best practices in a brstrategic plan. Alongside the DestinationNEXT Assessment, bra data-based assessment run by the International Tourism brAssociation, VisitCC developed a three-year strategic plan brdesigned to realize its vision.
“What you’re going to see in that plan, specifically, is a brlot of different initiatives from a marketing and advertising brstandpoint that is going to reach new individuals who have brnever heard of Corpus Christi,” Oetting explains.
The agency placed significant focus on the strategic brdevelopment of two departments, actively designed to brelevate Corpus Christi as a sports destination and a film and brmusic destination. The former features a sports sales team brdedicated to recruiting large water and sporting events and brconferences and attracting new sporting businesses; the latter is relaunching the Corpus Christi Film Commission as brthe Corpus Christi Film and Music Commission.
Creating a year-round destination, Visit Corpus Christi bris managing campaigns that drive visitors during the months brsurrounding the area’s high season while doubling down bron convention business. It is also investing in international brtravel, such as Spanish language webpages and campaigns brtargeted to attracting tourists from Mexico.br
“Visitors are helping make our lives better on a daily brbasis,” Oetting says. “And I feel like this speaks to the impact brthat an organization like Visit Corpus Christi has.”