Hurricane Irma: Florida kicks off hurricane response marketing campaign

A hurricane response marketing push is being instigated this week in a bid to encourage travellers back to Florida in the wake of damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

The Visit Florida initiative will focus on unaffected areas with the state’s tourism body deploying digital technology and social media to provide an “authentic view” of the state.

Visit Florida president and chief executive Ken Lawson revealed the plans to attract visitors back to the ‘sunshine state’.

“While Hurricane Irma was a very dangerous storm and several communities sustained serious damage, many areas of Florida did not see significant impacts,” he said.

“Last week, Visit Florida spoke to the leadership of our state’s Destination Marketing Organisations, to get a county-by-county damage assessment and to review plans to best promote our state to visitors.

“The vast majority of DMOs were happy to report that their destination is open for business. The areas of our state that were more impacted are rebuilding and planning to reopen as soon as possible.”

The hurricane response marketing plan will invite visitors back to Florida “in a responsible way, where we focus marketing on unaffected areas while providing real-time information and updates on locations that continue to strengthen every day,” Lawson added.

“This plan will provide an authentic view of Florida to assist potential visitors as they make travel plans.

“Campaign tactics will be digitally focused with a series of true-view videos from destinations across the state – an aggressive push to energize our ‘Share a Little Sunshine’ advocates to share real-time images of the state with #LoveFL, as well as customised plans to support the communities that were directly impacted by Hurricane Irma.

“We are continuing to share real-time travel safety updates on our Florida Now page. Our local DMO Partners are also updating their websites to serve as a post-hurricane information resource.

“The Florida tourism industry has recovered from many storms over the years, and I have no doubt that our communities and our state will quickly rebound from Hurricane Irma as well.”

Tourism was responsible for attracting 106.6 million visitors to the state in 2015, spending $89.1 billion and employing 1.2 million people.

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