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Kenneth Morgan-Schleuning
VISIT FLORIDA & Partners Host Key Family Travel Influencers

By on May 22nd, 2015 — 12:39pm

Florida offers families great choices when it comes to planning a vacation.  Kids’ ages and interests often dictate what kinds of activities families will seek out on vacation.  Moms, dads, and single parents make decisions based on a variety of factors, including input from their kids.

Thirty-nine percent of Florida’s domestic visitors are families.  Moms make roughly 80 percent of travel related decisions and are a market segment that is rapidly becoming more digital.  Fifty-eight percent of the moms in those homes use the Internet over TV or magazines when planning vacations, and 74 percent of moms have purchased products as a result of a promotion mentioned in a blog.  So naturally, the family blogging community is crucial in helping and inspiring parents with ideas and travel planning decisions.

To this end, VISIT FLORIDA created “Family Travelers #LoveFL,” a blogger engagement and PR program designed to host and network with 10 top-tier family bloggers.  Planning and hosting partners included Marriott Vacation Club (Lakeshore Reserve), Grande Lakes Orlando (JW Marriott and The Ritz-Carlton campus) and Visit Orlando. VISIT FLORIDA also worked with 10 DMOs to participate in the program and host the bloggers during individual FAM trips.

Here’s how the program unfolded:

  • On May 11, mommy bloggers arrived at Grande Lakes Orlando to their accommodations at Marriott’s Lakeshore Reserve to learn how the three properties work as a hospitality campus, providing families a variety of accommodation options.
  • Kicking off the three-day program, the host hotels provided a welcome dinner at Highball and Harvest, located at The Ritz-Carlton.
  • The bloggers were treated to family fun activities, including a guided kayak eco-tour on Shingle Creek (the headwaters of the Florida Everglades), a guided fishing excursion, and spa treatments at The Ritz-Carlton.
  • Visit Orlando hosted the group for tours of the new Orlando Eye, the centerpiece experience at I-Drive 360. Following I-Drive 360, bloggers received a tour of the forthcoming Crayola Experience attraction and a walking tour of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios, followed by dinner at Cowfish at Citywalk.
  • VISIT FLORIDA held a special brand engagement session with the bloggers, facilitating a conversation about best practices, family travel trends and insights.
  • VISIT FLORIDA hosted a blogger luncheon at the JW Marriott, which was co-sponsored and attended by 10 DMOs from around the state.  During the luncheon, each DMO representative spoke about their destination, sharing news and updates on family-related travel experiences and assets.
  • Before and after the three-day program, each blogger was hosted by one of the 10 DMOs for individual destination tours.  VISIT FLORIDA supported the bloggers with travel arrangements and coordinated pairings between the bloggers and their hosted DMO FAM trip.

The 10 participating bloggers ranged from presidents of blogging networks to individual  blogging brands.  The blogs represented were: About.com/Family TravelAway Is HomeClassy MommyGrowing Up BilingualHer Bad MotherSolo Mom Takes FlightTaking The KidsTraveling MamasTraveling Mom and Trekaroo. Collectively, these blogging brands reach more than 36 million consumers each month via their blogs and social media channels.

VISIT FLORIDA would like to thank the host hotel partners at Grande Lakes Orlando and Lakeshore Reserve, and Visit Orlando, for their partnership in planning and hosting.  Thank yous also go out to the 10 DMOs who hosted the bloggers during the individual FAMs and co-sponsored the luncheon: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, Dayton Beach, Visit Central Florida, Visit Citrus, Visit Gainesville, Visit Jacksonville & the Beaches, Visit Orlando, Visit Sarasota, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Visit Tallahassee.

To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA’s PR programs, contact me at kmorgan@VISITFLORIDA.org.

Kenneth Morgan-Schleuning
Public Relations Manager

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Meredith DaSilva
The Race for The Henry is On – and Online

By on May 21st, 2015 — 10:19am

Flagler_banner_June16VISIT FLORIDA’s 2015 Flagler Awards competition is underway and now accepting entries from the countless organizations and individuals who use their talents to market Florida to the world.  The deadline for entries is Tuesday, June 16.  Read more of this post »

Meredith DaSilva
Director of Executive Operations

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Lucy Spann
VISIT FLORIDA India Media Mission Showcases Unique Florida Experiences

By on May 20th, 2015 — 2:44pm

From decadent desserts dipped in chocolate to wild airboat rides on the St. Johns River, Florida is truly a destination that offers something for everyone.  This is what VISIT FLORIDA, along with three of our Industry Partners: Visit Orlando, Daytona Beach Area CVB and Florida’s Space Coast, set out to prove with three journalists from India. Read more of this post »

Lucy Spann
Public Relations Representative

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Will Seccombe
Gov. Scott: Florida Smashes All-Time Record Quarter for Tourism

By on May 15th, 2015 — 11:08am

I am pleased to share that today Governor Rick Scott announced during a press conference at the Naples Zoo that Florida has set another record in tourism numbers by welcoming the highest amount of visitors of any quarter in the state’s history.  In the first quarter of 2015 (January-March), 28.4 million visitors came to the state, an increase of 6.2 percent over the same period in 2014.  The previous high for a quarter for tourism was 26.7 million visitors in quarter one last year.  The average number of direct travel-related jobs in quarter one of 2015 was also a record high, with 1,186,900 Floridians employed in the tourism industry – up 4.8 percent from the same period in 2014. Read more of this post »

Will Seccombe
President & CEO

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Steven Bonda
2015 Florida Encounter Registration on Track for a Stellar Year

By on May 8th, 2015 — 11:54am

MeetinfsVISIT FLORIDA’s Corporate Meetings & Events team is pleased to share that supplier demand for our 2015 Florida Encounter is off to a great start with more than 55% of the spaces sold out in less than two weeks.  This year’s event is being held November 30 – December 2 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort. Read more of this post »

Steven Bonda, CMP
Meetings and Corporate Events Manager

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