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VISIT FLORIDA Hosts Inaugural Digital Innovation Forum: Florida

By on December 5th, 2016 — 4:38pm

digital-innovation-forum-nov-2016-photoLast week, VISIT FLORIDA hosted its inaugural Digital Innovation Forum: Florida in the Orlando area.  The event had over 150 attendees representing diverse roles and businesses within our industry.

The purpose of the Florida version of the Digital Innovation Forum was to provide Florida-specific travel insights in the digital sphere as well as highlight strategic partnership product opportunities.

Expedia, Facebook, Google, ListenFirst Media and Travel Startups Incubator presented innovations and key trends in digital marketing, including mobile, video and more.

Travel Startups Incubator vetted 11 emerging startups from all over the world, including some Florida-based.  The startups touched on verticals throughout the travel industry—hoteliers, airlines, DMOs, attractions and more. Read more about the individual startups here.

The startups each had five minutes to present, then were challenged in a three-minute Q&A from a panel of industry experts:

  • Danielle Hollander, Chief Marketing Officer of Visit Orlando
  • Sharon Siskie, Senior Vice President, Disney Destinations
  • Terry Prather, Executive Director, Florida Council of Tourism Leaders, VISIT FLORIDA

digital-innovation-forum-nov-2016-photographThese presentations and insights generated several key takeaways for tourism organizations as they navigate their digital strategy and stay on the forefront of innovation:

1)    Metrics are ever important.  Having key metrics identified and measuring the success of your campaign allows your organization to optimize your efforts.

2)    Industry collaboration and creativity amplifies innovation.  When our industry forms a collaborative voice, we can present a data-driven, digitally-focused, cohesive vision of Florida to the world.

3)    Make your content unskippable.  If you don’t capture the consumer immediately, you’ve lost them. Consumers need to see targeted messages at the right time on the right device.

From March 27-30, 2017, VISIT FLORIDA will also host a Digital Innovation Forum: Silicon Valley in California to promote digital thought-leadership.  Contact Becca Smith for more information.

Paul Phipps
Chief Marketing Officer
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Gov. Scott: Florida Sets Another Tourism Record

By on November 21st, 2016 — 10:52am

1During a press conference at The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens this morning, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida set another record in tourism by welcoming the highest amount of visitors of any nine months in the state’s history with 85 million visitors.  This record amount of out-of-state and international visitors represents a 5.5 percent increase over the same period last year.  In the third quarter of 2016 (July-Sept.), 26.9 million visitors came to the state, an increase of 5.1 percent over Q3 2015.  This marks Florida’s largest third quarter for visitation ever.  The average number of direct travel-related jobs in quarter three of 2016 was also a record high, with 1,241,300 Floridians employed in the tourism industry – up 4.1 percent year over year. Read more of this post »

Will Seccombe
President & CEO

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VISIT FLORIDA Selects JeffreyGroup for PR Representation in Latin America

By on November 18th, 2016 — 2:54pm

jeffreygroup-logoI am pleased to announce that VISIT FLORIDA has selected JeffreyGroup as our new agency of record to spearhead public relations efforts in Latin America.  The agency was selected to manage media relations and influencer marketing efforts in the region.  With a combined 1.9 million visitors and $2.7 billion in spending annually, Mexico and Brazil rank among the top countries for visitation and visitor spending in the state. Read more of this post »

Tim DeClaire
Director, Global Public Relations

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VISIT FLORIDA & Partners Take Center Stage at WTM London 2016

By on November 17th, 2016 — 1:39pm

wtm-2016-logoLast week, VISIT FLORIDA attended World Travel Market London 2016 (WTM), the leading global event for the travel industry. Now in its 37th year, WTM has long been a must-attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to the U.K. and other international travel professionals.  This year, the show attracted 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press who conducted more than 865,000 on-stand appointments that lead to over £2.5 billion in industry deals being negotiated and signed. Read more of this post »

Alfredo Gonzalez
Vice President, International Sales & Market Development

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Share a Little Sunshine Wins Silver WOMMY for Best Advocacy Campaign

By on November 16th, 2016 — 2:35pm

wommy-awards-logoI am proud to announce that last night VISIT FLORIDA received a Silver WOMMY in the Advocacy Award category for our Share A Little Sunshine campaign.  The WOMMY Awards were presented by the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, the official international non-profit trade association dedicated to word of mouth and social media marketing, as part of the Social Media Week conference being held in Chicago.  Now in it’s 11th year, the WOMMY’s recognize the most innovative, inspiring and impactful marketing campaigns from across the globe.  The Advocacy Award category, new for 2016, was created to spotlight the best employee, brand or customer advocacy marketing program to achieve a business outcome. Read more of this post »

Meagan Chiamardas
Associate Director, Brand

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