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2014 Florida Tourism Industry Awards Announced

By on September 23rd, 2014 — 2:08pm

GC logoDuring the 47th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held September 22-24, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, VISIT FLORIDA announced the 2014 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inductee, as well as the winners of the Flagler and Iris Larson Awards.  Annually, leaders in Florida tourism are chosen by a selection committee to receive these prestigious honors and awards.

Florida Tourism Hall of Fame

Since 2001, individuals have been chosen annually to be inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame. This honor, presented by the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, recognizes contemporary and historic figures whose vision, creativity and drive have had a positive and significant impact on the development of Florida as a desirable visitor destination.

The 2014 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inductee is Walter B. Fraser. A Georgia native and accomplished educator, Fraser came to St. Augustine in 1925 where he purchased the celebrated Fountain of Youth. He then embarked on a lifetime of tireless work on behalf of Florida tourism, exemplified by his efforts to preserve St. Augustine, create a unified, funded marketing approach for the statewide tourism industry, and help develop a tourist-friendly atmosphere in Florida. Fraser was an eight-term mayor of St. Augustine and campaigned for governor in 1940 on a platform devoted to tourism. He predicted the proper development of the state’s veritable gold mine of treasured attractions would lead to a future where travelers to the Sunshine State would number in the millions, not in the thousands, and visit on a year-round basis. Although his gubernatorial bid failed, in 1944 he was elected to the state legislature where he immediately set out to create a State Advertising Commission with an annual budget of $1 million and became the voice of tourism promotion in the state.

GC themeFlagler Awards

Named for Henry Flagler, the Flagler Awards were established in 2000 to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Annually, the Flagler Awards honor many of the countless individuals and organizations that help maintain and improve Florida’s position as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. The awards are open to all individuals, private businesses and not-for-profit organizations offering a product or service that promotes tourism to or within the state of Florida.

As in previous years, the 2014 Flagler Awards drew entries from Florida’s tourism partners, large and small. Working independently, five judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality and effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges’ cumulative scores, awards were presented to the top three entries in each category: the Bronze Award for the third highest scoring entry, the Silver Award for the second highest scoring entry, and for the highest scoring entry in each category, the Henry Award. The 2014 Flagler Award winners in 16 categories, plus Best in Show at three budget levels, are listed below.

Creativity in Public Relations

Bronze Award: The Perdido Key Chamber for Perdido Key “Shindig on the Sand”

Silver Award: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for the USS Mohawk and Underwater Art Gallery

The Henry: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for “The Beach Looks Good On You”

 

Direct Marketing

Bronze Award: The Florida Keys & Key West for “Art Seen vs. Art Scene” and “A Thousand Words”

Silver Award: The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau for Collier County Smart Meetings E-blasts

The Henry: The Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau for their “Visit Florida’s Legendary Beach Island” Leaflets

 

Internet Advertising

Bronze Award: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater for “Where Summer Rocks”

Silver Award: The Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau for the 2013 Rich Media Puzzle Ad

The Henry: The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau for the Collier County Crab Festival Digital Campaign

 

Mixed Media Campaign

Bronze Award: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “Hello Sunny” Fall/Winter Campaign

Silver Award: The Seminole County Convention and Visitors Bureau for the “Wild Side of Orlando”

The Henry: The Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau for “A Florida Beach with a Southern Accent”

 

Mobile Marketing

Bronze Award: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Sunny.org Mobile Website

Bronze Award: The Florida Keys and Key West for Mobile Swipe – “Put Your Shoveling Skills to Use”

Silver Award: The Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau for their Bike Trail Mobile App

The Henry: SeaWorld Orlando for SeaWorld Orlando’s Epic Voyage App

 

Niche Marketing

Bronze Award: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “Greater Fort Lauderdale Urban Experience”

Bronze Award: The Santa Rosa Island Authority for the Footprints in the Sand Eco Trail

Silver Award: Visit Orlando for “What’s Cooking in Orlando: Cultivating Orlando’s Culinary Scene”

The Henry: The Florida Keys & Key West for “You’ll Be Up All Night,” “Breakfast with Tiffany” and “Comfort Zone”

 

Out-of-Home

Bronze Award: The Walton Country Tourism Development Council for Visit South Walton Emerging Markets Airport Takeovers

Silver Award: The Florida Aquarium for the Python Takeover Teaser

The Henry: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater for “I Need Sun”

 

Print Advertising

Bronze Award: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for the “Find Your Island” Newspaper Campaign

Silver Award: The Seminole County Convention and Visitors Bureau for the Seminole County CVB Leisure Campaign

The Henry: The Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau for the “Southern Elegance” Campaign

 

Radio Advertising

Bronze Award: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater for “Where Summer Rocks”

Silver Award: The Florida Aquarium for “Love Birds”

The Henry: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for the “My Island” 60 Second Radio Campaign

 

Resource/Promotional Material – Consumer

Bronze Award: The Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau for their Destination Overview Brochure

Silver Award: The Seminole County Convention and Visitors Bureau for the Seminole County CVB Meeting Video “Orlando’s Meeting Oasis”

The Henry: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “Meet Sunny” Direct Mail/Video Program

 

Resource/Promotional Material – Trade

Bronze Award: The Emerald Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Emerald Coast Wedding Guide

Silver Award: Visit Sarasota County for the Visit Sarasota County Consumer E-newsletter

The Henry: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “Hello Sunny Vacation Playbook”

 

Social Media Marketing

Bronze Award: The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau for Visit Miami LGBT

Silver Award: The Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau for Ocala/Marion County VCB Social Media Marketing

The Henry: The Mote Marine Laboratory for the Mote Marine Laboratory “Fish Tales” Viral Video

 

Special Event

Bronze Award: The South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival

Silver Award: The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Hollywood for the “Seminole Hard Rock New Year’s Eve Reveal 2014”

The Henry: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau for the “It’s So Miami” Taxi Stand

 

Television Advertising

Bronze Award: The Florida Keys & Key West for “Wreck Trek” and “Learn to Drive”

Silver Award: The Space Coast Office of Tourism for “Your Space for Fun”

Silver Award: The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau for “Live, Sleep, Breathe Golf”

The Henry: The Seminole County Convention and Visitors Bureau for “No Fast Passes”

 

Tourism Advocacy   

Bronze Award: The Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau for their Marketing Plan Website

Silver Award: The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau for the Collier County “This is My Paradise” Tourism Week Campaign

The Henry: The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for their Destination Marketing Luncheon

 

Websites

Bronze Award: The Panama City Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau for the New Visit Panama City Beach Website

Silver Award: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau for miamibeaches.com

The Henry: The Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau for the Ocala/Marion County VCB Website Rebrand

 

Best of Show in three budget categories

Marketing Budgets under $100,000: St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport for their Airport Rebranding Campaign

Marketing Budgets $100,000 to $1 million: Seminole County Convention and Visitors Bureau for “Wild Side of Orlando”

Marketing Budgets Over $1 million: Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for “A Florida Beach with a Southern Accent”

 

Iris D. Larson Awards

Created by Bob and Iris Larson, past owners of a small motel in Kissimmee, Florida, the Iris D. Larson Awards were created to recognize hospitality and tourism industry professionals and students who exemplify the qualities of selfless spirit of service and leadership in their work experience.

Hospitality Endowment’s Industry Service Award Winner – Michael Brittingham

Mr. Brittingham has worked in the hospitality industry for more than 10 years and, for the past several years, has been employed as a server at the Loew’s Don CeSar Hotel in St. Pete Beach. Michael takes pride in what he does and, although he is appreciative of being recognized for his hard work, he feels that is only a small part of a much larger picture comprised of an amazing team of professionals.

Scholarship Award Winners

Jessica Getlik, Rosen School of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida

 Ms. Getlik is a self-defined “people person” who excels in communicating with others while promoting teamwork. Jessica has a life-long passion for theatrical entertainment and believes the skills she has acquired through her love of acting have contributed significantly to providing hospitality guests with outstanding service.

Luidmiala Katsiak, Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Florida International University

 Ms. Katsiak feels passionately that hospitality industry professionals who can communicate with guests in multiple languages will succeed in the business because destinations such as Miami are competing to attract international tourists. She speaks English, Spanish and Russian and is planning to learn Portuguese and French since Brazil and Canada are growing markets in South Florida.

Sasha Buddle, Dedman School of Hospitality Management, Florida State University

 Ms. Buddle loves helping people and making them smile. She recently completed a four-month internship at the Emerald Grande Resort in Destin, Florida, where she experienced first-hand, and on a daily basis, the managerial responsibilities and duties required for success as a food and beverage manager. She is working toward becoming a general manager of a leading luxury resort hotel in her home country of Panama.


Will Seccombe
President & CEO
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