By Suzy Kridner
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Tim Hamby, the new executive director of the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority, started his job on a high note with the city being named one of Dr. Beach's Top 10 Florida beach towns.
Dr. Beach is actually Dr. Stephen Leatherman of Florida International University who publishes an annual list of "Best Beaches" around the world.
This is the first time he has selected his 10 favorite Florida Beach towns.
While Dr. Leatherman frowns on driving on the beach from an environmental point of view, he still selected New Smyrna Beach for the list.
New Smyrna Beach also was recognized as one of "The World's Top 20 Surf Towns" by National Geographic Magazine in 2012.
"New Smyrna Beach is definitely getting on the radar," Mr. Hamby said. "We are not satisfied with just being on the list, we want to be No. 1."
Since Mr. Hamby is tasked with bringing more tourists to Southeast Volusia. "This will help raise our profile and bring a great deal of credibility. People who may not have known about us before will now," he said.
The city's beachside has seen a lot of progress in the past year with the recent opening of the new Hampton Inn on Flagler Avenue, renovations completed to the Flagler Avenue Boardwalk and construction underway at the Esther Street Beachfront Park as well as new restaurants and shops.
"It's all coming together here. Despite the difficult economy, the outlook is good for New Smyrna Beach and getting better," Mr. Hamby said. "My job is to get the secret out."
He said his agency serves a diversified group of people and wants to capture families who want to feel safe and enjoy a good value.
"While the beach is the star," he pointed out the city's two downtowns, Flagler Avenue and Canal Street; historic attractions; the Marine Discovery Center; and Canaveral National Seashore provide other things for tourists to do in the area.