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VISIT FLORIDA & Partners Reach Key Domestic Travel Trade

By on June 20th, 2017 — 1:16pm

Chicago Trade EventEducational Forums in Chicago and Philadelphia

Travel trade, including travel agents, tour operators and other buyers and sellers of travel trade products, are a vital distribution network for Florida’s tourism industry. Research shows that nearly three percent of domestic visitors to Florida use a travel agent to book accommodations and five percent use a travel agent to reserve their air transportation. To stay top of mind with travel trade representatives in some of our key domestic markets, VISIT FLORIDA and our Industry Partners recently hosted several educational events for travel agents in Chicago and Philadelphia.

In Chicago, which ranks ninth among domestic metropolitan areas in visitor volume to Florida, travel agents heard from each of our participating Florida destinations about what’s new and exciting in their area during a dinner and reception.

In Philadelphia, which ranks third in top air states to Florida and fifth among domestic metropolitan areas in visitor volume to Florida, travel agents enjoyed a luncheon event that included destination presentations.  Zane Kirby, President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), was the guest speaker for the event.

While in both Chicago and Philadelphia, the team also visited eight local travel agencies, sharing brochures and promotional items from our Partners and bringing their staff up to date on the latest openings and popular activities in each destination.

Many thanks to our Partners who helped make these events a success: Discover the Palm Beaches, Emerald Coast VCB, Greater Miami CVB, Magic Village Resort, Panama City Beach CVB, St. Augustine and Ponta Vedra VCB, Sunstream Hotels & Resorts, Visit Central Florida, Visit South Walton, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater and Visit Tampa Bay.

Ohio Travelfest Trade ShowsASTA TravelFest Shows in Cleveland and Cincinnati

VISIT FLORIDA and our Industry Partners recently participated in the American Society of Travel Agents TravelFest Shows in Cleveland and Cincinnati, as well as several travel agency sales calls in the area. These events provided great opportunities for our Partners to speak one-on-one with agents in Ohio, which ranks third in top states to Florida and seventh in air states to Florida, about their destinations and properties. Many thanks to our participating Partners: Emerald Coast CVB, Greater Miami CVB, Red Lion Hotel Orlando-Kissimmee Maingate, St. Augustine and Ponta Vedra Beach VCB and Visit Tampa Bay.

Cruise360Cruise360 Conference and Trade Show in Ft. Lauderdale

To stay top of mind with travel trade representatives who book pre- and post-stays to our cruise destinations, VISIT FLORIDA recently hosted a Florida Lounge at Cruise360. This is the industry’s largest and only official cruise-focused conference and trade show. The event, held this year in Ft. Lauderdale, had nearly 1,100 travel agents from 34 states, 7 Canadian provinces and 13 different countries including China, India, Malaysia and Australia.

Part of the six-day event included the Cruise360 Marketplace, where VISIT FLORIDA and our Industry Partners invited the agents to “Cruise on over to the Florida Lounge and Take a Break.” Many thanks to our participating Partners – Aventura Mall, Courtyard by Marriott Miami, Greater Miami CVB, Little Harbor Resort and Renaissance Hotel Orlando Airport – who spoke with agents in the Lounge about the offerings from their destinations and properties.  

TPOCTPOC Annual Conference and Trade Show in Kissimmee

Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC) recently held their 15th Anniversary Conference and Trade Show in Kissimmee, marking the third time that a Florida destination has hosted the event. TPOC is a national organization that promotes training, networking and support of minority travel professionals with membership from North America, Trinidad and Tabago, the Bahamas and Jamaica.

More than 175 travel professionals gathered at this year’s conference, which featured three full days of education and keynote sessions. Florida tourism took center stage with a welcome address from Ken Lawson, President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA and several of our Florida suppliers presenting in the “Working Collaboratively with our Industry Partners” breakout session. Special thanks to the Reunion Golf and Spa Resort, Discover the Palm Beaches and Westgate Resort for their support of the conference.

To learn more about any of our upcoming travel trade events, check out the VISIT FLORIDA Marketing Planner or contact Brenda L. Bryant at bbryant@VISITFLORIDA.org.


Brenda L. Bryant
Marketing & Event Planner
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Thank You for Helping VISIT FLORIDA Achieve Full Funding

By on June 14th, 2017 — 12:00pm

MiamiAs you may have seen, Governor Scott traveled the state yesterday celebrating VISIT FLORIDA receiving full funding and thanking the tourism industry for their hard work and hospitality in welcoming more than 112 million visitors last year. This victory would not have been possible without the help of the Governor, the Legislature and all of our Industry Partners. Read more of this post »


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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Gov. Scott: First Quarter of 2017 Sets Florida Visitation Record

By on May 15th, 2017 — 2:08pm

Q1 2017 Visitor Numbers Press Conference photoI am proud to share that during a press conference at Jungle Island in Miami this morning, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida set another record by welcoming 31.1 million visitors in the first quarter of 2017, the highest quarterly number ever. This represents a 2.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Even though Florida’s tourism industry is booming, the Florida Legislature cut VISIT FLORIDA’s budget by 67 percent for the upcoming fiscal year, putting Florida’s incredible growth and the many families and businesses that rely on the tourism industry at risk. Read more of this post »


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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VISIT FLORIDA Honors Arthur Hertz’s Contributions to the Tourism Industry

By on May 5th, 2017 — 1:36pm

arthurhertzToday the Florida tourism industry mourns the passing of one of its greatest leaders.  Arthur Hertz was a pioneer in local and state tourism development, including serving as Vice Chairman of the Florida Commission on Tourism and was part of the team that led to the formation of VISIT FLORIDA.  Arthur served as VISIT FLORIDA’s Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1998-1999, was inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame in 2004 and continued his service as a member of the Florida Council of Tourism Leaders.   Read more of this post »


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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2017 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism Registration Now Open

By on April 24th, 2017 — 9:30am

GC17 imageOne of VISIT FLORIDA’s signature events, the annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, will be held this year at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood August 28-30, 2017. I am pleased to share that registration for GC17 is now open. Click here to make your plans to attend. Read more of this post »


Steven Bonda, CMP
Senior Manager, Corporate Meetings & Events

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