'Visit Florida' Introduces Themed Itineraries

NAPLES, Fla. -- Visit Florida, the state's tourism promotion unit, will introduce at least seven themed itineraries for travelers interested in ecology, heritage and culture, officials at the Florida Governor's Conference here said.

The tourism unit, which is a public-private partnership, also said it will expand its Web site, located at www.flausa.com, on behalf of partner companies to promote value-oriented products such as surplus room inventory.

Visit Florida officials told conference delegates that they are developing marketing plans to "meet the changing needs of Americans" and are planning promotions aimed at persuading more Floridians to book in-state vacations.

Meanwhile, Visit Florida for the first time will have enough money to conduct year-around advertising, an official from its ad agency said. Previously, there was sufficient money on hand only for seasonal advertising, said Gary Stogner, hospitality marketing director for Fahlgren Advertising in Tampa.

Fahlgren handles the Visit Florida account.

Visit Florida will spend $10.5 million on advertising in the U.S., Europe and Latin America, and 800 private-sector industry partners will contribute an additional $15 million to

$16 million for cooperative ads, he said.

Twenty-nine key domestic metropolitan areas will be targeted for print and TV ads, primarily in the East and Midwest. Promotion funding will be devoted to Latin America and, for the first time, to eastern Europe. Visit Florida funding from the state comes from a portion of the $2.05 daily surcharge on car rental transactions.

In other news, Visit Florida opened sales offices in Dallas and New York. A sales office in Montreal also is planned.

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