News from the Florida Huddle trade show, this year held in St Augustine.
Visit Florida acquires Florida Huddle
Visit Florida has acquired travel trade show Florida Huddle from private owners. The state marketing firm made the announcement at this year’s show in St Augustine, its 37th edition. Eileen Forrow, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Visit Florida said the show will not change its name under its management and will see more involvement from tour operators and airlines but not travel agents. She added that the show is in talks with Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios and SeaWorld to bring the three attractions back to exhibiting at the show after a five year absence.
“We are in talks with them to come back and we want their involvement to show unity if anything else,” she explained. The show is expected to see more focus on the condo and home rental market and open up to all Florida destinations. It will be held in Palm Beach next year.
Visit Florida unveils new campaign
Visit Florida has unveiled a new marketing campaign with a family friendly ‘The Hangover’ style advert. Launching on 11 February, the new promotions adopt the logo ‘Must be the sunshine’ with tongue-in-cheek words to emulate how people relax and act differently while on holiday. Speaking at Florida Huddle, Will Seccombe, CEO of Visit Florida said the state has gained a “tremendous amount of momentum” in tourism and will roll out the new campaign in markets including the UK to continue the pace. Last year the state registered 500 million overnight stays.
Miami sees visitor boost
More Brits have been visiting Miami in the last year, its official figures have revealed. The number of UK tourists heading to the city was up 2% during 2012 with expenditure also increased. Looking ahead the city is expected to see several new hotels open in the next few years including the SLS, Hotel B and two Starwood properties. Its trade show presence in the UK is to continue alongside fam trips for travel agents.
St Augustine is celebrating the Viva 500 this year to mark the anniversary of its finding by Juan Ponce de Leon. Events will be held across Florida with Spanish themes to mark the milestone.
St Peters/Clearwater saw a record year for the number of Brits travelling to the region and is seeing some hotels go through a refurbishment.
Kissimmee CVB is gearing up for a brand re-launch and will be in the UK for a sales mission in July under a new structure to really reach out to international markets.