Go to Florida will spend thousands and thousands on promoting to draw vacationers to the Sunshine State

Visit Florida will spend millions on advertising to attract tourists to the Sunshine State

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Visit Florida intends to use marketing dollars not spent from the late winter and spring when the coronavirus hit, to get people to re-explore the state.

In addition to a more traditional $ 39.8 million marketing plan released Wednesday to the Visit Florida board of directors, the tourism agency plans to raise more than $ 13 million from campaigns that have been discontinued since the Virus has largely brought the travel industry to a standstill.

The deadlines for the marketing efforts have not been set as the number of virus cases continues to rise and funding sources such as rental car fees, which produce up to $ 22 million a year, may run out.

Visit Florida’s chief marketing officer, Staci Mellman, told a member of the public-private agency’s Marketing Council Tuesday that the launch date for tiered marketing efforts was a “moving target.”

“Our plan was designed to stay nimble as local health data, traveler attitudes, and residents’ sentiments evolve,” Mellman said. “We regularly monitor a series of data entries to assess when is the most effective time to start our marketing efforts.”

The first stage of the rebound plan will focus on getting Floridians to travel to the state and attracting people from other states who would drive.

While outdoor activities have increased, travel confidence still lags as most of the state is in the second phase of Governor Ron DeSantis’ three-phase economic reopening that began in May. COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, forced stores across the state to close or cut back drastically in late March and April.

“Ultimately, it comes down to travelers’ personal choices and how they feel about safety and confidence,” Mellman said. “I think this will continue to evolve as more information comes out about it, when drugs or vaccines are developed and COVID becomes part of our daily lifestyle.”

Florida tourism declined 10.7 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020, reversing a nine-year upward trend and the largest reversal in a quarter since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

International travelers to the United States, with Florida being the first planned stopover, fell 45.8 percent in the first four months of the year compared to the same point in time in 2019, according to Visit Florida. The planned capacity of the airlines from April to August fell by 86 percent against Canada and Brazil, by 59 percent against the UK and 65 percent against Germany.

Visit Florida previously indicated the potential long-term impact of the coronavirus on the tourism industry. It is expected that people will initially prefer short journeys to long flights.

Jacob Pewitt-Yancey, director of consumer insights and analytics for Visit Florida, said Tuesday a Harris poll found that more than 37 percent of respondents could wait two or three months before going to restaurants if the crisis finalized is overcome.

More than 50 percent can wait up to six months before returning to sporting events once the all-clear is signaled. Air travel may have to wait a year for 31 percent of these travelers. More than 50 percent will wait at least a year or never cruise again.

Florida hotels lost nearly $ 3.5 billion in revenue between March 1 and May 30, according to Pewitt-Yancey.

Nearly 40 percent of the people who filed for unemployment in Florida between March 15 and April 21 were in the tourism sector.

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Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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