By Ernest Blum
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The Florida tourism industry unveiled a
rainbow-colored logo featuring the letters "FLA" set atop "USA"
that officials hope will become as recognizable as "I Love New
York" or the Nike "swoosh."
"We expect the logo to capture worldwide attention and
recognition, and to represent state tourism for many years," said
Austin Mott, chief executive officer of Visit Florida Inc., the new
name of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corp. The logo and
the name change are among moves designed "to keep Florida on top of
the tourism industry," Mott said.
Atlanta-based Battle Enterprises will license the logo to
clothing manufacturers, with a royalty of 6% of the wholesale price
going to Visit Florida. Bill Battle, the firm's head, said,
"Florida is the first state to actively market its brand on an
organized basis," referring to a series of marketing steps the
state is taking to promote the new logo.
At a fashion show held during the 30th Governor's Conference on
Tourism here, actor Chevy Chase and several models wore caps, sport
shirts and blouses sporting the logo. Clothing featuring the
colorful design has been shipped to 355 stores at seven state
The logo was created by New York-based Landor Associates, whose
travel industry clients include Varig Airlines, Royal Caribbean
International, Hyatt and ITT Sheraton's Four Points chain.
According to Mott, the state's tourism agency paid $373,000 for the
development of the design, which will be used in a variety of
applications, including advertising, corporate identity and partner
In addition, the expanded Florida Vacation Guide, which debuts
in January, will carry the logo.
The state's 24-hour, live fulfillment service secured the
toll-free number (888) 7FLAUSA. The state's Web site, which also
uses the logo, was given a new address on the Web,
As for renaming the state's promotion agency, the FTIMC was
changed to Visit Florida Inc. because the acronym proved to be
unwieldy and difficult to memorize, officials said. Although the
new name is being adopted immediately, the change will not become
official until action by the FTIMC's board at a meeting next
Florida topped 43 million visitors last year, he said, and hopes
to reach 50 million annually before the turn of the century.