SAVE THE DATE: Join us as we celebrate the importance of tourism and recognize Broward County's finest frontline hospitality workers who go above and beyond and deliver SUNsational Service to our Greater Fort Lauderdale visitors! Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 8 at the Broward County Convention Center.
NOMINATE: There is still time to nominate the most helpful, courteous hospitality industry employees - valet, lifeguard, bellman, housekeeper, taxi driver, server, baggage handler, reservationist, etc. CLICK HERE to nominate. Nominations must be submitted by this Friday, March 8. Contact Rita at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
WELCOME TO THE CVB SALES TEAM
The GFLCVB welcomes Mike Pouey, Fred Trimble and Lisa Lipfield to the Convention Sales Team.
Fred Trimble, the new Regional Sales Executive, based in Washington, D.C., led a team in reopening and rebranding the legendary Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. and previously held roles at The Diplomat Beach Resort and the Bonaventure Resort & Spa. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team. Click here to read more.
Lisa Lipfield, Convention Sales new Administrative Assistant, is assisting the Chicago Regional office. Lisa previously worked as a Senior Event Coordinator for an event planning company. She also spent time abroad in Israel in sales, where she learned the language and adapted the culture.
Bo’s Beach, a laid-back ambiance of a sports bar with the beach-easy vibe of a vacation getaway, recently opened on Fort Lauderdale beach serving seafood and wood-fired dishes with direct ocean views.
Anthony’s Pronto Kitchen, a grab-and-go Italian takeout eatery from the restaurateur behind Anthony’s Runway 84 and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, opened in Fort Lauderdale on Federal Highway, offering a large menu of soups, salads, appetizers, sandwiches, pastas, and meat and seafood entrees for takeout or deliver only.
La Boulangerie, a new French artisanal bakery, also opened on Federal Highway, serving freshly made products in a relaxed vintage- industrial style atmosphere.
Java and Jam, an upscale breakfast-and-brunch spot with an old-school diner vibe opened on Las Olas Boulevard. Catering to the early-to-rise business-casual set and power-lunch diners, the restaurant is open daily from 7am-4pm. Piazza Italia also opened on Las Olas (Mango’s former location), serving authentic Italian cuisine.
After a recent $15 million renovation, Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach debuted face-lifts and revamped menus at their restaurants. Breezes has a new look with reclaimed teak wood, along with a quartz bar top, and Carrara porcelain tile floor and two fire-pit lounges on the terrace. There is a new ivory stone tile pool deck at Waves Rooftop Pool Bar and Grill, and a rooftop poolside lounge, High Tide, is opening soon on the opposite side of the pool.
Coming soon: Oceanic will debut this spring overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Pompano Beach. The newly constructed, 20,000 sq. ft. dining destination’s architectural design depicts the hull and bow of a ship. The expansive first floor offers diners a variety of indoor and outdoor seating options, all with spectacular, panoramic ocean views. The spacious, second floor pavilion is a dedicated, private event space. Oceanic’s signature menu prides itself on locally sourced seafood, fresh raw bar, juicy steaks and seasonal specialty dishes.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION RECAP
Pride Fort Lauderdale and the first ever Carnaval Parade on Fort Lauderdale beach attracted more than 120,000 people. The festival was a huge success with American Idol's drag queen finalist Ada Vox and RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Todrick Hall headlining the event.
The CVB has begun promoting Pride of the Americas in April 2020 with an expected attendance of more than 350,000. A #GreaterTogether Activation will take place at Hunters in Palms Springs, CA March 22-24 where key California media will be invited to experience our LGBT+ destination.
Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomed 8 journalists and influencers to the destination for a Pride Fort Lauderdale-themed media FAM. They experienced the Pride Fort Lauderdale parade and festival, in addition to the Pride Fashion Show at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, SOBEWFF Crave GFL Series Drag Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale and the Stonewall Gala. Media came from the UK, Canada, Brazil, and the U.S.
This month, Richard Gray is attending ITB Berlin and will be the guest speaker in the Pink Pavilion showcasing Greater Fort Lauderdale’s success story to global travel leaders.
Join the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber of Commerce on the luxurious Celebrity Equinox for their inaugural cruise, Sept 7-13. Special offers available through March 7. Click here for more info.
TOURISM SALES UPDATE
What We've Been Doing:
In February, Gabriel Martinez attended the International Inbound Travel Association’s annual summit in Savannah, GA; Connect Travel Marketplace in Kissimmee, an appointment-based show of international buyers; and wrapped up the month attending Vitrina Turistica ANATO in Bogota, Colombia, a travel trade show attracting trade partners from neighboring countries of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru. Gonzalo Rubio attended AAA Great Vacations in Columbus, OH (pictured here) with more than 15,000 consumers in attendance. Justin Flippen organized a Bonotel FAM with Gabriel showcasing local, off the beaten destination points to their CEO, Faisal Sublaban.
Snapshot from the UK:
The UK Sales & Marketing team attended Ferie for Alle in Scandinavia on behalf of the Florida's Beaches coalition, promoting GFL to Danish consumers. The team is preparing to attend the Aer Lingus Roadshow, hitting Belfast, Dublin, Limerick and Cork, educating more than 300 agents; and working on marketing with British Airways and a 2019 training schedule with key tour operator partners.
The UK PR team is working on securing media to attend for the Hills Balfour Regional Roadshow 2019, visiting seven major UK and Irish cities – Brighton, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester. The team is also working on confirming media visits with Independent/Evening Standard, The London Economic and Irish national and regional newspapers from WTM.
January total traffic: 3,227,766, up 6.5%; domestic traffic: 2,408,152, up 4.5%; international traffic: 819,614, up 12.8%. FLL has had 5 consecutive years of double digit growth in international traffic. In 2018, international traffic was 24% of total traffic compared to 19% in 2014. Passenger traffic has increased by over 12M passengers since 2013, up 53%. Air Freight has doubled in the last 10 years and 83% of FLL’s traffic is Origin/Destination.
New 2019 service includes: Silver: Daytona Beach, Pensacola, The Bight (Bahamas) May; JetBlue: Phoenix, St. Maarten, Guayaquil; Spirit: Jacksonville, Austin, Raleigh (May), Durham (May), Charlotte (June); WestJet: St. Johns; and Frontier: Denver.
Subscribe to the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport’s monthly e-newsletter NewsFLLash for the latest airport info hot off the press.
South Florida music fans will enjoy Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival, March 9-10 at Hard Rock Stadium, with a two-day lineup including Blackstreet, Guy, Bobby Brown, Doug E. Fresh, Envogue, Jagged Edge, Lionel Richie, Brandy, O’Jays and many more. Click here for more info.
Join us for the 2nd Annual 2019 Synergy Summit for Cultural & Heritage Tourism May 9-11 at the Signature Grand Conference Center. Local, regional & national tourism, hospitality & travel professionals, tourism-related small businesses will convene to share best practices in cultural & heritage tourism. The Summit will showcase cultural and heritage tourism assets expanding the tourism footprint and economic impact in heritage neighborhoods and multicultural communities. Click here to register.
Sports Development will host more than 25 events and welcome more than 25,000 athletes, coaches and families in March including: Miami Open Tennis at Hard Rock Stadium, Junior Olympics Swim Invitational at Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Tim Rand Gymnastics Tournament at Broward County Convention Center, Florida High School Rodeo in Davie at Bergeron Rodeo Grounds, and AAU Basketball Invite in Deerfield Beach at DS Sportsplex.
Fort Lauderdale Promotes Quality of Life Through Arts – Check out the latest article in Meetings Today showcasing the Underground arts, culture and entertainment scene, and Noelle Stevenson’s Q&A on South Florida’s Arts Boom.
GET YOUR TICKETS: Tortuga Music Festival hits the beach April 12-14 with headliners Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney and Thomas Rhett. Make sure to stop by the House of GFL where the Underground 360 video booth will capture your Tortuga experience from all angles. Unleash your inner artist with renowned painter Hector Prado in our Live Art Activation. And get ready for a glow up, completing your festival look with our variety of trendy flash tattoos.
FLL Fashion Week takes place March 14-16 at the Conrad Hotel & Atlantic Hotel & Spa. The event offers an international platform for designers from the region to seamlessly connect with media and buyers increasing the domestic awareness of home grown fashion and increasing the global presence of Fort Lauderdale design, while highlighting the culture and sophisticated glamour that solidify Fort Lauderdale as a style capital.
MARCH GROUP SALES & SERVICES UPDATE
Groups meeting in March will generate more than $15 million to Broward County. Groups include:
HAPPENINGS AROUND TOWN
SAVE THE DATE Apr 26-28: Enjoy authentic sights and sounds of the Caribbean, celebrity cooking demos, an artisan shopping village, live DJs and more at the 3rd Annual Taste the Islands Experience. Food & spirits enthusiasts with a taste for island indulgences for a series of events.
Through Mar 24: Florida Renaissance Festival, Quiet Waters Park
Stacy Ritter, President
SUMMER SAVINGS: 2-FOR-1 OFFERS
Attractions, cultural activities, spas, restaurants, golf courses, and dive operators are invited to participate in the 2019 Summer Savings program by offering 2-for-1 offers to stimulate summer business May 1 through September 30. The CVB's summer program promoting these values will be supported with a public relations and advertising plan to reach millions of in-state and out-of-area consumers and is FREE to participate. Click here to sign up. Deadline is this Friday, March 8.
Facebook chose @VisitLauderdale to be highlighted as a case study success story on the official Facebook Business site. A strategic campaign utilizing Facebook’s “Trip Consideration” feature was developed by Starmark combining Trip Consideration with an ongoing Greater Fort Lauderdale vacation contest and optimizing reach. Facebook’s Trip Consideration gives advertisers the ability to prioritize their ad delivery to people who are in the early “dream” stages of planning a vacation getaway, but have not yet decided where to go — an ideal target market for GFLCVB. The results were very successful. Learn more here.
HI-RES IMAGES NEEDED
The CVB works daily with journalists, members of the media, meeting planners, and other organizations requesting hi-res images of the destination (many times specific images are requested).
We are asking our partners to provide us with HI-RES images, the best quality you have, for these requests. Please send images to Kim Canter. You can use Dropbox and/or WeTransfer to send.
SUNSATIONAL SERVICE TRAINING
The GFLCVB will host a SUNsational Service Training for class of 2019, Wed, June 5 from 1-4pm at the Museum of Discovery & Science. This is a FREE course to our partners. Click here for more info or contact Rita Wells with questions.
Casa Pellegrino Boutique Hotel in Hollywood has been recognized as one of the Best Hotels for Service in the U.S. in the 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards for Hotels. Ranking seventh out of 25, Travelers’ Choice award winners are determined based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from TripAdvisor travelers worldwide.
The convention sales team recently participated in: NYC HHRM Meeting, MPI Golf Committee Dinner in NJ, NJ/NYC Sales Mission, MPI Mid-America Conf, Lexington & Louisville Sales Mission, PCMA in NYC and LIMRA Distribution Conference.
A unique gathering of senior-level and CEcD-certified economic developers. Stacy Ritter sat on a panel discussing the latest issues affecting economic development leaders. The 2019 Summit illustrated ways organizations are bringing together polarized factions to form successful collaborations. Learn more here.
Feb 26–Mar 3: Vitrina Turistica ANATO, Bogota, Colombia (Gabriel Martinez)
BEACHSIDE MEETS RINKSIDE: The GFLCVB partnered with Entercom Radio, Florida Panthers and Hilton Worldwide to reach target audiences, including leisure & business travelers, sport enthusiasts and meeting planners during Florida Panthers hockey games in key markets. FanFest Activations, including a viewing party for hockey games, and a meeting planners event at the game, took place in Pittsburgh, DC, and this week in Boston.
Click here to check out more of our CVB team in action at various events and functions around the world.
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