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VISIT FLORIDA Wins Big at 58th Annual HSMAI Adrian Awards

By on February 24th, 2015 — 1:06pm

I am pleased to announce that during last evening’s awards gala in New York City, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) recognized Susannah Costello, VISIT FLORIDA’s Vice President of Global Brand, as one of its “Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing.” This distinction marks Susannah as one of the “best of the best” in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries for 2014.  Two other Florida tourism industry leaders were named to this year’s list – Vince LaRuffa with Universal Orlando Resort and Jack Wert with the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“The people named to this list have made incredible contributions to the industry,” said Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHBA, President & CEO of HSMAI. “Their innovative sales, marketing and revenue management ideas have helped fuel the success of the hospitality industry the past two years.”

Now in its twelfth year, the “Top 25” recipients are judged by a panel of senior industry executives for their recent work based on the following criteria: creativity and innovation, cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns, triumph in challenging situations and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.  The recipients were honored during a private ceremony preceding the HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala and also recognized on-stage during the evening’s featured event.

“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized with this award and humbling to join the company of marketing leaders who have received it,” said Susannah.

Susannah is one of those rare individuals who can visualize creative, out-of the-box concepts and then successfully develop those “big ideas” into integrated, cross-departmental programs that have truly transformed the way visitors think about Florida.  She is a proud and tireless representative of the Florida tourism industry and an innovative thinker who constantly challenges herself to stay on the cutting edge of travel marketing strategy.  

The featured event of the evening was the 58th Annual HSMAI Adrian Award ceremony and I am pleased to share that VISIT FLORIDA stood out in this area as well, receiving their top honor – the Platinum Adrian Award.  We won for our Trekker project, a partnership with Google that allowed us to become the first in the nation to capture and incorporate images of Florida’s 825 miles of beaches into Google Maps and make them available online for users all over the world to enjoy.

VISIT FLORIDA also received two Gold, two Silver and two Bronze Adrian Awards for projects ranging from our redesigned website to our first-ever Fall “Stay an Extra Day” campaign to our #LoveFL campaign.  The awards were given for advertising, public relations and digital marketing excellence as part of the world’s most recognized and prestigious competition for the hospitality, travel and tourism industries.  This year’s total of seven awards marks VISIT FLORIDA’s largest number of winning Adrian entries ever received and our first-ever Platinum Adrian.

I am extremely proud of the VISIT FLORIDA team, whose creativity and innovation have resulted in these remarkably successful efforts being recognized by our tourism marketing peers at HSMAI.  Congratulations to the host of local Florida DMOs and our other marketing Partners who were also recognized with Adrians.  The Florida tourism industry is filled with really smart marketers who are the key to us becoming the No. 1 travel destination in the world.


Will Seccombe
President & CEO
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