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Dear Industry Partners,

During this unprecedented time, we’re unveiling ways to inspire hope, recognize acts of heroism and support our tourism partners. This challenge will not define us. I’d like all of you to remember our powerful Greater Together message that has never been more important and impactful than it is right now. Take a look at our Emmy Award-winning Greater Together video if you haven’t seen it in a while. 

I’m sharing with you a recap of the ways your Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB team is inspiring hope and providing support for our tourism industry and community.  

1. Recognize our Hometown Heroes

What is a hero? We think it’s a person who exceeds all expectations in order to help others. They’re doctors, nurses and first responders. They’re county employees like bus drivers, and airport and seaport workers. And they’re restaurant and retail employees just to name a few. They’re our neighbors, our friends, and our family. So, join us in recognizing those who give us hope when we’re hopeless, courage when we’re afraid, and a much-needed reminder that home is where the heroes are. 

We’re collecting these stories to share on social media, sunny.org and with the news media. For example, several local restaurant groups started the Hands for Hospitality fund that is raising money going directly to hourly restaurant employees now out of work due to the shutdown of dining room service at local restaurants.  

How to help: Share your nominations, stories and photos so we can tell the stories of the people doing good in the community.

2. Connect our Hoteliers with Essential Lodgers

We are working behind the scenes to connect first responders and travelers categorized as “essential lodgers” with hotels that are remaining open throughout the pandemic. We have a list of open hotels that we shared with Broward County’s Emergency Operation Center. Additionally, essential lodgers can search, find and book available rooms on our website. And you can let us know by emailing us at GFLmarketing@broward.org if you’d like your property added or removed from the list.  

“Our group sales team is helping large and small groups of first responders in need of rooms and other services,” says Ed Simon, Executive Vice President of Visit Lauderdale. “With construction underway on the long-planned $1 billion expansion of the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, we had already shifted our focus to working with hotel contained groups. We’re fortunate that we can support recovery teams that are here to help the community and bring some much-needed revenue to our hotels.”

3. Promote our Restaurants and Pop-Up Markets

Visit Lauderdale’s “Eat Local” campaign, our comprehensive list of local restaurants and other businesses offering takeout, drive-thru, curbside and delivery services that local residents and essential lodgers can use while practicing social distancing, is heavily spotlighted on social media. So far we’ve highlighted and individually tagged a long list of 125+ participating restaurants on our @VisitLauderdale Instagram and Facebook social media channels, resulting in more than 110,000 views to our audience of 40,000 Instagram followers and 255,000 Facebook followers. Check out our highlights on Instagram for the latest intel on hours, menus, specials on family dinners and cocktails, and more. Find the full list on the dining page on sunny.org.  

With groceries and household provisions in scant supply, some savvy restaurants and bars have turned into pop-up community markets.These were highlighted in an article on sunny.org and shared on the “Eat Local” social media effort. For example, South Florida’s oldest steakhouse, Tropical Acres in Dania Beach, has been reinvented as a drive-thru butcher shop with custom cuts of meat and seafood, and beachy-chic Beach House Pompano is offering a full range of grocery goods including a free roll of toilet paper with any $20 grocery purchase.

To have your restaurant listed for free, sign up here. 

See also:

4. Keep the Kids Engaged and Learning

Need help keeping the kids focused on learning? Find educational lessons for kids in grades three through five that are filled with fun ways to learn about math, science, history, and geography – all brought to life through locations and experiences available in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Kids that complete all the online subjects become a Visit Lauderdale Junior Ambassador!

“We saw a unique opportunity to turn this challenging time period into a great learning experience for kids,” says Tracy Vaughan, Senior Vice President of Tourism & Travel Industry Sales. “We hope these lessons about our local tourism industry will inspire future family travel.”

See also: Kid-Friendly Virtual Entertainment in Greater Fort Lauderdale

5. Experience our Beaches, Attractions and Museums—Virtually

We’ve already received international media coverage for ways to experience Greater Fort Lauderdale virtually. Visit these links and be sure to let us know what virtual experiences you are offering. 

Teleport yourself to our sand and surf by checking out our live beach cam views. Gaze at the gorgeous blue and green shades of water, and if you’re lucky, spot a sea turtle or maybe a manta ray cruising the surf. Connect virtually with local museums, performing arts venues, attractions and more with videos and social media livestream features that give you a front row seat to past performances, attractions and tours at mainstays like Stranahan House, Butterfly World, Flamingo Gardens and more. Treat the kids to new Virtual Camp Discovery video experiences released every weekday from the Museum of Discovery and Science.  

Experience Greater Fort Lauderdale from the comfort of your sofa while getting inspiration on places to see on your visit. Check out a list of some of our favorite scenes and hotspots in a variety of movies and TV shows, from alligators in the Everglades to mermaids at the world-famous Wreck Bar.

Check out our list of movies and TV shows: Travel Around Greater Fort Lauderdale Without Ever Leaving Home.

6. Reduce Stress with Local Yoga and Fitness Instructors

Weights aren’t dropping. Cycles aren’t spinning. And the only public treadmills any of us are on are the corporate kind. Luckily, we have the internet. And gyms and studios around Greater Fort Lauderdale are helping us get our fit on and reduce stress while we wait for the COVID-19 crisis to pass. Some put their classes on their website. Others have YouTube channels. Either way, you can continue—or restart—your New Year’s resolution. Check out our list of available yoga, meditation, fitness, and martial arts workouts you can do in living room. 

7. Stay Informed and Share Community Resources

Visit Lauderdale’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of our visitors and residents. To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and aid in social distancing, all beaches and non-essential businesses are closed until further notice. For more information, including links to local, state and federal support programs, visit our travel resources page, as well as our tourism industry support page.

Remember to also visit the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance’s website for more helpful resources and links.  

Be safe, be well and stay tuned as we will continue to share important information with you.

Sincerely,

Stacy Ritter
President / CEO

Greater Fort Lauderdale
Convention & Visitors Bureau

 

Copyright © 2020
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
101 NE 3rd Avenue Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
 Tel: 954-765-4466 • U.S. and Canada: 800-22-SUNNY • gflcvb@broward.org
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