Visit Florida starts marketing campaign after hurricane Irma destruction

Published on : Friday, October 13, 2017

Visit FloridaFlorida’s top tourism marketer aims to attract 120 million visitors this year, after Hurricane Irma closed the Florida Keys for almost a month and recovery continuing along both coasts.

Visit Florida President and CEO Ken Lawson said that he isn’t backing off from the 120-million tourist goal set at the start of the year by Gov. Rick Scott. However, an economic impact of the hurricane is being studied.

“I’m driving hard to hit that 120 (million),” Lawson added. “You can’t back off. You can’t back off. That’s why we’re again being aggressive, sending a message, using social media, using traditional media, sending a message across the country and, also, the world that we’re open.”

Visit Florida has begun a $5 million post-storm marketing campaign to tell people that Florida’s tourism destinations and beaches will be quickly reopened and restored.

With tourism accounting for an estimated 1.4 million jobs in Florida, Lawson joined Scott in Key West on Oct. 4 to try to drive home the point that the Keys were open for business.

The Islamorada Resort Company has said that it might take up to six months for reopening its four resorts for tourists.

Irma made landfall Sept. 10 in Cudjoe Key in Monroe County before making a second landfall in Marco Island and then turning towards the peninsula.

Lawson said that although there is a slowdown in people coming to Florida after Irma but things are slowly coming back to normal.

“In my bones there’s an impact, the actual impact I cannot say concretely,” Lawson said.

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