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VISIT FLORIDA to Showcase Historic Florida Main Street Communities

By on April 12th, 2017 — 2:59pm

FAFToday, VISIT FLORIDA announced a new initiative to showcase Florida Main Street communities. In partnership with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and the Department of State’s Florida Main Street Program, VISIT FLORIDA has begun including these historic Florida communities on the Florida Attractions Finder – a popular online tool where visitors can personalize their Florida experience.

VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Ken Lawson said, “Florida’s rich culture and historical offerings are some of the biggest reasons why we welcomed a record of nearly 113 million visitors last year. By connecting Florida Main Street communities with the Florida Attractions Finder, we are bridging two successful programs to benefit smaller communities across the state. This program is a great example of the innovative programs that VISIT FLORIDA is known for and another reason why fully funding the organization at $76 million is in Florida’s best interest.”

Florida Main Street aids historic retail districts across Florida in revitalizing their centers of activity and commerce by creating job opportunities, preserving the community’s historic resources, saving tax dollars, and ultimately building a positive image for the community.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner said, “We’re excited to partner with VISIT FLORIDA to provide unique, personalized cultural and historical tourism opportunities for travelers through the Florida Attractions Finder. Our Florida Main Street communities exemplify economic-based historic preservation that draws tourists into our small towns. We’re saving our downtowns so visitors can experience a piece of pure Florida.”

NPRThe Florida Attractions Finder is an online resource created by VISIT FLORDA and TripTuner that includes theme parks, farms, wineries, historical districts, and now Main Streets. With 47 Main Streets in Florida, this new feature will give travelers the opportunity to identify an authentic local experience anywhere they vacation. With the ability for users to “dial-in” their personal preferences, the tool is geared to organically increase options for visitors planning their Florida getaway, as well as spotlight local small businesses throughout the state that might otherwise be overlooked. The user experience includes pictures and videos that provide the unique ability to get a feel for the area and its offerings.

President and CEO of the FRLA Carol Dover said, “This exciting new initiative highlights numerous experiences across the state for all visitors to enjoy. The Florida Attractions Finder is a unique tool that showcases many of Florida’s hidden gems and allows travelers to enjoy local fare and flair. VISIT FLORIDA continues to lead its peers in revolutionizing destination marketing. We’re optimistic this partnership will stimulate additional tourist spending, which fuels Florida’s economy and promotes job creation throughout the hospitality industry.”

As part of today’s launch, VISIT FLORIDA has added an initial grouping of eight Main Streets to the Florida Attractions Finder and will continue to work with these communities to highlight additional Main Streets throughout the spring and summer. VISIT FLORIDA will showcase the unique nature of each of these communities to create better reach to visitors coming to Florida. Click the names to view the profiles for the communities already listed on the Florida Attractions Finder which include Ormond, DeLand, St. Cloud, Vilano Beach, Venice, Apalachicola, Stuart and New Port Richey.

To view a presentation VISIT FLORIDA hosted today for Florida Main Street program representatives to learn more about how they can get involved with the Florida Attractions Finder and other VISIT FLORIDA and FRLA programs, please click here. For more details, please contact attractionsfinder@VISITFLORIDA.org. 

About Florida Main Street
Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 47 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center’s Four-Point Approach®, Florida Main Street encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation through the revitalization of Florida’s downtowns – the community’s heart and soul. Since the program’s inception in 1985, the Florida Main Street programs have cumulatively created 25,304 jobs, 8,180 new businesses and produced $2.5 billion in reinvestment. Learn more at FloridaMainStreet.com.

About the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $108.8 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.4 million employees – making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 10-12, 2017 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.


Nelson Mongiovi
Interim Chief Marketing Officer
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VISIT FLORIDA Still Fighting for Full Funding

By on April 5th, 2017 — 2:59pm

Our fight in Tallahassee to fully fund VISIT FLORIDA continues.  We still need our Industry Partners to help us in this important endeavor.  Recently, the Florida Senate included Governor Scott’s full $76 million for VISIT FLORIDA in their budget.  The Florida House, however, has cut our organization’s funding by 67 percent to $25 million, an amount that would cost tens of thousands of jobs.  Please contact your local legislators to respectfully tell them why fully funding VISIT FLORIDA is critical to 1.4 million jobs in our state. Read more of this post »


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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Tallahassee Area Yellow Cab Shows Support for VISIT FLORIDA

By on March 21st, 2017 — 12:55pm

FullSizeRTo show support for a fully funded VISIT FLORIDA, Tallahassee area Yellow Cab has equipped 30 taxi cabs with toppers to share the message to Tallahassee residents that “Tourism Works for Florida.”  The company placed the advertisements to promote the 1.4 million jobs created by the tourism industry in Florida.  The toppers, which are being provided by Yellow Cab at no cost to VISIT FLORIDA, will remain on the taxi cabs throughout the 2017 Legislative session. Last year, Florida welcomed a record 112.8 million visitors.  To learn more, go to www.tourismworksforflorida.org.


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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Importance of Our Industry on Full Display at Florida Tourism Day 2017

By on March 15th, 2017 — 1:01pm

Fight for Florida Jobs Rally at Florida Tourism Day 2017Yesterday, VISIT FLORIDA and nine other statewide organizations hosted the industry’s annual Florida Tourism Day at the Capitol. This year, there is no doubt that because of the participation of more than 600 of our Industry Partners from 44 counties, Tourism Day was a complete success.  The strength and importance of our industry was on full display for lawmakers in the Capitol.  Without the support of the job creators in our tourism industry, we would be fighting an uphill battle on our own. Read more of this post »


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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VISIT FLORIDA Now Accepting 2017-2018 Committee Applications

By on February 23rd, 2017 — 1:34pm

VISIT FLORIDA_logo_307VISIT FLORIDA’s greatest strength has been, and will always be, the input and guidance we receive from the members of the Florida tourism industry.  Now more than ever, it is vital that VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing efforts are strengthened by the direct involvement of volunteer leaders representing our industry. Read more of this post »


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

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