See you next week as we celebrate the importance of tourism and recognize Broward County's finest frontline hospitality professionals who go above and beyond to deliver SUNsational Service to our Greater Fort Lauderdale visitors! There is still time to reserve your seat for Wednesday, May 8 at the Broward County Convention Center. $40pp. RSVP today. Contact Rita Wells rwells@broward.org with questions.


Greater Fort Lauderdale Average Hotel Occupancy
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March 2019
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Greater Fort Lauderdale Average Hotel Daily Rate
February 2019
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The GFLCVB welcomes Amber VanBuren, Heidi Barfels and Johana Davila to the Marketing Communications Team.

Amber VanBuren (Advertising Manager) joins the CVB after serving as the Executive Director of the Las Olas Boulevard Association for the past 6 years. She has more than 20 years of experience in corporate, government, and not for profit (NPO) administration. She is a strong leader and team player with success in development and execution of public relations, marketing, fund development, event productions, branding, community campaigns, customer service, production efficiency and ROI procedures/recommendations.

Heidi Barfels (Manager, Digital & Social Marketing) is a marketing communications professional with more than a decade of experience in luxury travel promotions, destination marketing, and event management. Throughout her career she has managed PR and digital marketing efforts for some of South Florida's top getaways. She's already produced one of the most popular @VisitLauderdale Instagram posts in history with more than 11K likes. 

Johana Davila (Marketing Communications Assistant) has a degree in broadcast journalism and began her career at WPLG as an assignment editor. Most recently, she comes to us from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, where she held many positions including administrative specialist. She is bilingual and is thrilled to be part of team. 


Ivonne MacMillan secured a featured episode for GFL on DirectTV’s “United Plates of America” featuring an interview with Stacy Ritter and highlighting Rooftop @1WLO, Water Taxi, Downtown Hollywood Mural Project, Ocean 3030, Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa and more. The episode will air later this year. 

The PR team also worked closely with VISIT FLORIDA for the French-Canadian TV Show “Direction la mer” for an episode on the destination with an interview with Stacy Ritter featuring Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, Flamingo Gardens, SEABOB Snorkel Reef Tour, FATVillage and more. The show will air in 2020.

As part of a VISIT FLORIDA FAM, the CVB welcomed five journalists who stayed at CIRC Hotel and experienced Olivia Restaurant & Bar, Sawgrass Recreation Park (pictured above), kayaking at West Lake Park, Sawgrass Mills, a private Downtown Hollywood Mural Project tour, One Door East, Louie Bossi’s, Las Olas Boulevard, FATVillage Art Walk and GG’s Waterfront Bar & Grill.

In April UK PR team secured press coverage across some of the top tier publications in the UK market including TTG and Daily Mirror. 


What Wegan Did Next: Attending Fort Lauderdale Pride: Fashion Show, Gala, Drag Brunch + More!

Reader's Digest: 
15 Cheaper Alternatives to the Most Overpriced Tourist Attractions


Stacy Ritter and Richard Gray attended the World Travel & Tourism Council Conference in Seville, Spain with more than 1,000 global travel C-class executives in attendance. Stacy participated in a panel highlighting the importance of diversity & inclusion and how Greater Fort Lauderdale is the global leader.

Richard and Stacy also attended the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Conference in New York City where the theme was UNITY, highlighting the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village.

Stacy attended a CEO round table discussion at the Google headquarters, talking about our leadership in diversity & inclusion. Greater Fort Lauderdale hosted the media reception with more than 65 key press in attendance. 

The Pride of the Americas dates have been confirmed as April 21-25, 2020.


The Tourism & Travel Industry Sales department welcomes Tracy Vaughan as the new Senior Vice President of Tourism & Travel Industry Sales. Tracy will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the bureau’s domestic and international transient sales efforts. Click here to read more about Tracy. And the CVB welcomes back Caitlan Etchevers as Senior Manager, Business Development Tourism Sales.

What We've Been Doing:

Gabriel Martinez participated in Brazil’s largest travel and tourism trade show WTM Latam co-sponsoring a media reception with Visit Florida and hosted 30+ representatives of new and traditional media. Gabriel also participated in the opening reception of Celebrity Cruises’ JetSet Fam with 130 top-producers to FLL.

Gonzalo Rubio attended Cruise3Sixty, one of the biggest cruise conferences nationwide in Fort Lauderdale reaching almost 1,500 travel agents. Gonzalo conducted two training seminars to 130 travel advisors and hosted multiple FAM tours. Gonzalo also participated in Seatrade Cruise Global, the largest cruising gathering in the world, with 13,000 professionals in attendance. Gonzalo and Caitlan attended the ASTA SBN South Florida Chapter’s conference and tradeshow at the Westin Fort Lauderdale with 120 travel advisors across the state of Florida.

Snapshot from the UK:

The UK Sales & Marketing team attended a consumer show with Iglu cruise, promoting pre and post cruise stays in the destination and have been liaising with key trade partners to work on marketing campaigns with America As You Like It, Jetset, US Airtours and Tour America.


March total traffic: 3,678,351, up 5.1%; domestic traffic: 2,829,219, up 5.1%; international traffic: 849,132, up 5.2%. FLL has had positive growth in total passenger traffic 59 out of the last 60 months. In February, FLL ranked 16th in total passenger traffic, ranked 9th in total international traffic and ranked 7th in total growth according to the Airport Council International's report. 

New 2019 service includes: Silver: Daytona Beach, Pensacola, The Bight (Bahamas) May; JetBlue: Phoenix, St. Maarten, Guayaquil; Spirit: Jacksonville, Austin, Raleigh-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.    


Last month, Greater Fort Lauderdale hosted prestigious groups such as the Southern Regional Conference of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and Majestic Retreat Passover Group and participated in The Taste the Islands Experience on the tropical grounds of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. In May, Greater Fort Lauderdale welcomes Redona Women’s Conference and the Go on Girl Book Club Conference.

The 2nd Annual 2019 Synergy Summit for Cultural & Heritage Tourism takes place May 9-11. Join us as tourism "Power Players" gather to communicate and explore synergy for collaboration as well as form strategic partnerships that strengthen and protect our tourism ecosystem. There's still time to register.


Sports Development will welcome more than 15,000 athletes, coaches and families in May including Red Bull Wings for Life Run in Sunrise, Masters Basketball Tournament in Coral Springs, Fin Swimming International World Championships at the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex, Florida Junior High School Rodeo Finals in Davie, Sunshine State Games Lacrosse Tournament in Parkland, and International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Fort Lauderdale. 

Coming soon...Sports Update Meeting invite in June. 


Noelle Stevenson recently attended Tour Connection NYC with more than 250 entertainment travel agents in attendance. Pictured here is Noelle with Gulcan Unal with Hyde Resort & Residences.

The new Underground brochure is beginning production. Please send Kristen Norona your updated info luxury, boutique/design, moderate or budget-friendly hotels, along with offers to the P3 and UMP cards. We also have UCreate maps available for your guests. 

Film Permits = 67 


Groups meeting in May will generate more than $12.4 million to Broward County. Groups include:
May 1-5: Lincoln International 2019 Meeting (450 attendees)

May 6-10: Teva Pharmaceuticals (400 attendees)
May 6-10: WEF Residuals & Biosolids Mgmt Specialty Conf (600 attendees)
May 12-15: Florida Association of Public Procurement Officials 52nd Annual Conference & Products Exposition (600 attendees)
May 12-16: ICMI Contact Center Expo & Conference (1500 attendees)
May 19-23: FAU 5th Int’l Computational & Mathematical Population Dynamics
(400 attendees)
May 22-24: 2019 AGA Financial Forum (400 attendees)
May 23-26: Fetish Factory Weekend May (700 attendees)
May 23-27: Redoma Women's Conference 2019 (1000 attendees)
May 27-June 6: European Wax Center Annual Meeting (1600 attendees)
May 30-June 6: PHADA Annual Convention and Exhibition (550 attendees)
May 31-June 6: Landis & Gyr Annual Exchange Conference (550 attendees)


Through May 5: Ghost the Musical, Lauderhill Performing Arts Center
Through May 5: Anastasia, Broward Center for the Performing Arts
May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Friday Night Sound Waves, Fort Lauderdale beach
May 3: Judas Priest, Hard Rock Live
May 4-5: Fort Lauderdale Air Show, Fort Lauderdale beach
May 5: Evanescence, Hard Rock Live
May 5: Joel and Mushy Widmaier, Miramar Cultural Center
May 5: Wings for Life World Run, BB&T Center
May 11: Tom Jones, Hard Rock Live
May 18: Downtown Hollywood Artwalk, Market & Mural Tour
May 18: Ocean Brews and Blues, Deerfield Beach
May 24-June 16: Thoroughly Modern Millie, Lauderhill Performing Arts 
May 25: FATVillage Artwalk, Flagler Village
May 25: Kristin Chenoweth, Hard Rock Live

For more events visit sunny.org/events. If you would like to submit an event for approval, go to sunny.org/submit.

Best wishes,

Stacy Ritter, President


Exclusive Greater Fort Lauderdale Vacation Like A VIP packages are now available through September 30 at participating Resort Collection properties offering a room upgrade, complimentary valet parking, $100 resort credit, access to The Colonnade Outlets at Sawgrass Mills Luxury Lounge and a free power bank courtesy of the CVB. 

For details on the Vacation Like a VIP program (valid now through Sept 30 with a two-night minimum stay) and a list of participating properties, visit sunny.org/vip.


Enjoy 2-for-1 deals during Summer Savings at more than 40 attractions now through September 30. Visit sunny.org/summer to view special summer deals. Special thanks to our many hospitality industry partners for their participation offering 2-for-1 offers for experiences from arts and entertainment to dining and spa treatmentsIf you would like to order Summer Savings cards for your guests, contact Frank Padin fpadin@broward.org to place your order. Click here to read about Summer Savings in the Sun-Sentinel. 


Sonesta Fort Lauderdale celebrated the grand opening of Steelpan with a ribbon cutting ceremony last month. The Caribbean-American Fusion kitchen and bar serves a menu influenced by the multicultural island flavors of South Florida.

Ovlo Eats, Plantation’s first-of-its-kind fast fine restaurant, offers high-quality, thoughtfully-curated cuisine with the convenience of fast-food dining.

3 Sons Brewing Co. recently opened its doors in Dania Beach with 26 taps and featuring 3 Sons brews along with a few guest beers, cold brew coffee and Italian sodas. 

The American Icon Brewery opened last month in Flagler Village. The brewery has a rotating selection of beers on tap and serves wine and food.

Black Rock Bar & Grill opened on N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale featuring steaks cooked on hot volcanic rocks.  


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.

Also, it’s important to have updated high-quality images for your sunny.org listing. This will make it easier for us to give you the best exposure for your organization. Please check you listing and use the Partner Extranet to update.


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. 



We invite you to submit your celebrations, special offers, and events for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day and 4th of July to be featured on dedicated pages on sunny.org. You can easily submit your offers online under your partner login. If you do not know your partner login, contact Rita. When creating your new offer for these holidays, be sure to select the appropriate offer category. Contact Justin with questions.



Xtreme Action Park has been awarded the American Amusement Machine Association (AAMA) 2018 Family Entertainment Center (FEC) of the Year Award.  



The convention sales team recently participated in: Global Meetings Industry Day, MPI Westfields Chapter in Connecticut (pictured above), CMP Training Luncheon in Pennsylvania and Global Meeting and Incentive Travel Exchange in Park City.


Apr 28-May 3: Visit Florida Canada Roadshow, Montreal/Toronto (Gabriel Martinez)
May 9-11: Global Travel Marketplace (Gonzalo Rubio)
May 19 -22: Connecticut Sales Mission (Gonzalo Rubio)
May 22-24: FADMO, Jensen Beach (Stacy Ritter)


The GFLCVB team participated in a fun outing painting coconuts at Park & Ocean in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.  

Click here to check out more of our CVB team in action at various events and functions around the world.

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Tel: 954-765-4466 • U.S. and Canada: 800-22-SUNNY • gflcvb@broward.org unsubscribe