State Agency Launches Campaign to Attract Visitors Following Disasters

Posted at 8:40 PM, Oct 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-13 17:58:13-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - Florida's tourism agency has launched a new marketing plan to help the industry.

The launch comes after a string of disasters throughout 2016.

Visit Florida said they are shifting their focus to recovery this week to let visitors from around the world know that the state is standing strong.

The first disaster happened in June at the Pulse Night Club shooting in Orlando where Omar Mateen killed 49 people and injured 53 others.

Then in September, Hurricane Hermine hit Florida, which was the first hurricane to make landfall in the state since 2005. The storm left thousands without power for days.

Then last week, Hurricane Matthew hit Florida's east coast killing 9 people and destroying homes and business in its way.

Visit Florida president Will Seccombe said Florida's tourism numbers have remained strong, despite several high profile issues affecting the state recently.

Seccombe said, "We've shifted from kind of the preparing and safety of Floridians and visitors which is what we focused on all of last week, to this week really focusing on recovery and letting the world know that we are open for business."

There will be a series of new videos, a social media campaign and a push to post images of the state with the hashtag "#lovefl."

According to the Visit Florida website, in the first six months of 2016, Florida had an estimated 57.4 million visitors, up 4.3 percent from one year ago.

The most popular activities for visitors in 2015 were beach or waterfront activities, culinary/dining experiences, and just visiting with relatives and friends.

Overseas visitors in 2014 cited shopping, sightseeing, and amusement parks, as the most popular activities while in Florida.