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Siesta Beach is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2017 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. (Chris O'Meara/AP Photo)

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Visit Florida steps up efforts to woo visitors back

Visit Florida announced Thursday it is doubling down on its efforts to show visitors across the world that Florida is open for business.

The state’s marketing agency will start the second phase of its post-Irma marketing campaign to ensure visitors see for themselves that the state’s destinations are ready to welcome back visitors.

The second phase will consist of TV broadcast, print, transit and digital billboard ads that will be seen in Florida’s top markets of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

This effort comes on the heels of a successful phase one of the campaign, in which over 4.9 million people viewed Visit Florida’s Facebook Live videos.

Visit Florida is spending a total of $5 million to market Florida tourist attractions following Hurricane Irma, which caused major destruction throughout the state last month.

Digital billboards will feature Visit Florida’s ads in the additional markets of Baltimore, Birmingham, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Greenville/Spartanburg, Houston, Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans and Raleigh. The ads will also be seen on digital screens and billboards in New York City’s iconic Nasdaq Tower and the Thomson Reuter sign in Times Square.

The television ads, which will run Oct. 16 through Nov. 26, feature images of Florida destinations taken since the storm.

Visit Florida President & CEO Ken Lawson said the ads encourage visitors to find their “moment of sunshine.”

“This phase will transition directly into our winter campaign and take full advantage of those making travel decisions for the late fall and winter seasons,” Lawson said. “We are continuing to allow visitors to see for themselves that Florida is still the number one global destination as we work towards our goal of 120 million visitors this year.”

Just days after the storm, Visit Florida sent video crews to destinations around the state to live stream on its Facebook page from tourism businesses that were able to reopen quickly. Last week, crews also streamed from locations throughout the Florida Keys, showcasing the areas that were ready to welcome back visitors.

Visit Florida has also reached out to domestic and international tour operators and meeting professionals in core markets to manage any misperceptions of damage to destinations and encourage the continuation of bookings to the state.

The most recent element of phase one efforts is a partnership with Delta Air Lines to offer discounted flights to Florida destinations that was announced last week and continues through today.

 

 

Written By

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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