Travel Weekly's Florida E-Letter: October 10, 2001

THE GREATER MIAMI Convention & Visitors Bureau in partnership with American Express, and other interests, launched a $2.2 million worldwide print and broadcast ad campaign aimed largely at reviving the airline travel market, which accounted for 95% of the area's tourism before Sept. 11. Using the theme "What Makes You Happy?" the effort focuses on the personal connection between people and their vacations. Using the same theme is a concurrent effort by the bureau and Cruises Only, a cruise agency, encouraging pre- and post-cruise land stays. A new Web site for both ad efforts [www.whatmakesyouhappy.com] lists value-added offers from hotels and attractions.

ALSO NOT abandoning the traditional long-distance tourist markets, Visit Florida, the state's Tallahassee-based public-private tourist promotion concern, is placing more than $4 million in domestic print, broadcast and Internet advertising media through February -- including $2 million from its Economic Risk Response Fund, reserved for emergencies. The latter sum, however, will be aimed largely at the drive market, with hopes that the region's residents will increase visitation, thereby offsetting losses from the airline passenger segment.

MEANWHILE, some $5 million worth of southeast region TV and print ads will run through early November on behalf of Central Florida visitor interests, using the theme "Family Time, Family Place." This is a joint effort of the Orange County Commission (contributing $1 million); the Orlando-Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau ($2 million), and Kissimmee-St. Cloud Convention & Visitors Bureau ($2 million). Under a separate promotion not advertised, but promoted over Web sites and in press releases, the Magical Orlando Getaways package program was created for the southeast drive market. Participating area hotels are extending a free third night when two are paid. The hotels were asked by the Orlando CVB to make the plans commissionable to travel agents, a bureau spokeswoman noted.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS Vacations, Orlando, offers a two-night package valid during the NBC Soap Fan Fest, where more than 20 TV soap opera celebrities will be on hand at the Universal Studios theme park over the weekend of Nov. 3 and 4. Rates, from $169 per person, double, cover, hotel, admission to both theme parks and other features. For clients not on a package, the Soap Fan Fest is included in regular admission. For information, call the operator, (877) 912-3838.

A 15% COMMISSION policy went into effect for individual and group bookings at the Waterfront Inn Las Olas and Waterfront Inn Beach Resort, both in Fort Lauderdale. Agents must have an IATAN number to qualify. For information, call (800) 543-2006. The Web site is www.waterfrontinns.com.

THE PENSACOLA Interstate Fair, set for Oct. 18 to 28, will feature entertainers such as Pam Tillis, The Platters, The Coasters, Linda Davis and Ronnie Milsap. The fair's exhibits from all over the U.S., will be devoted to agricultural, educational, scientific, livestock, cultural, commercial and industrial subjects. For information, call (850) 944-4500 or check the Web site, www.pensacolafair.com.

DAVID S. FEDER, effective Oct. 15, returns to the Boca Raton (Fla.) Resort & Club, where he will be based as the new senior vice president for resort operations for Boca Resorts Inc. Most recently he was senior vice president and managing director of the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, formerly owned by Boca Resorts. Feder succeeds Michael Glennie who resigned to accept a post in Japan.

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