MIAMI -- The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is
focusing its attention on the family market. The bureau is
trumpeting its family-friendliness as part of a $2.2 million print
and broadcast ad campaign using the slogan, "What Makes You Happy?"
Families seeking to develop some positive memories after the Sept.
11 terrorist attacks will be be able to accomplish that in the
Greater Miami area, officials said. As reported, a new Web site, www.whatmakesyouhappy.com, lists value-added offers
from hotels and attractions.
Among the family attractions are Parrot Jungle, Miami
Seaquarium, Miami MetroZoo and extensive beaches along the Atlantic
-- from South Beach north through Sunny Isles and on Key Biscayne.
The region also offers attractions such as National Football League
and Major League Baseball games as well as Everglades National
In addition to the worldwide ad effort, 28 bureau members
completed a Florida sales mission earlier this month. The group,
including representatives from Amtrak, promoted agency-generated,
in-state travel to Greater Miami. A reception briefed travel agents
in Tampa on what the area offers families and other visitors. A
trade show was staged for agents in Orlando, along with a dinner
and trade show for retailers in Jacksonville.
The bureau said increasing the number of visitors who arrive via
Amtrak or by other ground transportation could help offset some of
the losses of airline passengers. The airlines delivered around 95%
of tourists to the area before Sept. 11, a bureau official said.
Because of the favorable (for tourists) supply-and-demand
situation, there are some attractive family deals. A sampling
• The Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami created a Home Away
From Home plan, available Dec. 9 to Dec. 31. The program features a
$129 nightly room rate for adults, with a second room for family
members ages 18 and younger available for $40. For more
information, call (877) 89-DORAL.
• The Ramada Miami Beach Inn pays 15% commission on all stays
completed by April 30, and also throws in an Alamo economy car
rental and a Princessa casino cruise. Nightly rates range from $89
to $119, single or double, through Dec. 19 From Dec. 20 through
April 30, the prices range from $135 to $150. There are no age
restrictions on children sharing a room with an adult. Guests must
be ages 25 or older to rent the car. For information, call (800)
272-6232 or (305) 531-5771.
• The Hotel Ocean in Miami Beach introduced a program for
vacationing families who cannot bear to leave their pets at home.
For $19.95 per night, plus tax, the pet (cat or dog) will receive
treats at check-in and turndown and walking service. There is a
limit of two pets per room. The pet plan is not commissionable but
can be used in conjunction with any of the 27-room boutique
property's commissionable "people" packages, including the Lap of
Luxury and Deep Sleep. Package prices range from $200 to $600. For
details, call (800) 783-1725 or visit www.hotelocean.com.
• On Key Biscayne, the Sonesta Beach Resort is promoting a
nightly $195 room rate with a second room free through Dec. 20. The
resort is paying 20% commission on bookings received by Dec. 20,
regardless of the travel dates. For information, call (800)
Families visiting Greater Miami also will have a new lodging
option. Set to make its debut is the 422-room Royal Palm Crowne
Plaza Resort in Miami Beach. Because of construction delays, the
opening was postponed from Dec. 1 to Jan. 14. However, a "soft
opening" is anticipated before then, according to Velton Showell,
director of sales and marketing. Families will find nightly rates
ranging from $249 to $599. The property, which touts itself as
"kid-friendly and pet-friendly," will feature 150 suites. For
children, Showell said, a beach concierge will be available to
provide toys. The property is a project of Miami-based Peebles
Atlantic Development Corp. The hotel will be the first
African-American-owned and developed, full-service beachfront
resort, according to Six Continent Hotels, parent of Crowne Plaza
Hotels. For reservations, call (800) 2-CROWNE.
Among Miami Beach events for families is the 25th annual Art
Deco Weekend, Jan. 18 to 20, along Ocean Drive in South Beach. The
festivities will include live entertainment, big band concerts,
guided tours of the Architectural District, an antique car parade
and classic auto exhibit. Other highlights are street theater,
sidewalk cafes, street vendors, impersonators, antique and art
exhibits and a lecture series. Recently opened was the Art Deco
Museum and Welcome Center, at 1001 Ocean Drive. Admission is
For more information on the area, agents can check the Greater
Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau's Web site, at www.tropicoolmiami.com. Retailers also can call the
bureau at (800) 283-2707.