Visit Florida will expand its efforts to dig the state out of a COVID-19 tourism funk next week by targeting major metro areas along the East Coast to try to draw people who will drive to the Sunshine State.
As the Walt Disney Co. acknowledged plans to lay off at least 6,700 non-union workers around Orlando, Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young told members of the Enterprise Florida Executive Committee on Tuesday the efforts will turn to the “drive markets that have been particularly productive for us over the past many, many years.”
That means the state tourism-marketing agency will open up the rest of a $13 million marketing plan that started just before Labor Day. The first phase of the plan has encouraged Floridians cooped up for months because of the pandemic to explore other parts of the state.
The in-state campaign has used $3.4 million of money that had been held over from the spring, when marketing efforts ground to a halt as tourism in Florida fell more than 60%.
Young said the agency hopes to further boost the recovery campaign through an application for an $8 million federal Economic Development Administration grant that would be used to assist local direct-marketing organizations across the state.
“And then, of course, our overall marketing will be the traditional things that we do, which is winter, families, experiential adventure, travel, and all of those things,” Young said. “But they will be geared toward recovery.”
Republished with permission from the News Service of Florida.