Visit Florida Brings Sunshine To Dreary Toronto

With Martha Chapman

Hosts Susan Webb of Vox International with Visit Florida Brand Ambassadors Natasha Araujo and Madison Walker with Summer Walker, Campaign Manager for Visit Florida

Nothing like a cocktail called a Florida Sunshine to give a taste of the Sunshine State!

The ever popular green screen

It must be a challenge when you represent a destination so cool and appealing that thousands of people flock there every year – only to get on a ship and immediately leave.

That’s the dilemma for Gabriel Martinez of Fort Lauderdale/Broward County, who with a handful of his Floridian colleagues made a pit stop in Toronto last week to promote the sunny charms of the Sunshine State.

“We start with the beach, go into the shopping, then the art walks and so much more. There are amazing hotel deals from May to the end of September; and September and October are Crave Season with three course prix-fixe meals at many fine dining restaurants for just $33,” he told the 75 attentive travel agents attending the event. “Why not send your clients down a couple of days ahead of their cruise?” (You can find out more here.

Accommodation choices in the FLL area are wide, including the off-beach but uber-hip CIRC Hotel in the Hollywood neighbourhood, just 12 minutes from the airport and featuring a rooftop pool with spectacular views.

Elsewhere in Florida, clients who love grand old hotels will appreciate the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach (and just 90 minutes from MCO). The “pink palace of Florida” was built in 1928 and has been a 4 Diamond AAA hotel for over 30 years. It’s the only place I’ve heard of with a Stargazer Program for Kids (how cool is that?).

The Florida Panhandle’s Panama Beach was also represented. With over 27 miles of beaches (but no March Break rowdiness), it’s called a hidden gem, where you can, if you want, spend the whole day in your bathing suit – including going into restaurants. “We’re just a little bit different!”

If you’d like the chance to be hosted on a Visit Florida fam (including airfare, all meals and single rooms), all you have to do is take the 1 hour online agent’s course here

On another note, Florida Tourism has been in the news recently, and not in the travel sections but business: Legislative budget negotiators have recently extended the life of Visit Florida to June of next year (it had been due to expire in October this year). “This is promising, and we are positive,” Dorothy Thames, Senior Marketing Manager for Visit Florida. “We are the number one industry for Florida – and I love sharing what I love about our state.”

Martha Chapman

Martha Chapman Columnist

An OJ columnist since 2006, Martha is responsible for the Biting Questions features as well as special seasonal series. A travel industry lifer known to all in the biz, she frequently covers industry events for Open Jaw.

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