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Visit Florida Prepares for Post-Irma Ad Campaigns

September 20th, 2017 by Jake Stofan

While Irma’s damage remains front page news across much of the nation, Visit Florida is launching a month long ad campaign to let the world know, the Sunshine State is still open for business.

Visit Florida, the state’s destination marketing organization has a long history of PR clean ups after disaster strikes.

This year Governor Scott set a goal of attracting 120 million to the state.

But Hurricane Irma shut down the states beaches.

The state’s restaurant and lodging association says the storm put at risk Florida’s sunny image as a place for relaxation and recreation.


“The message to folks is that yes there was devastating damage to parts of our state, but we have the welcome mat back out,” said Geoff Luebkemann, Vice President of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

The negative press also puts Florida’s more than 1.4 million tourism jobs at risk, along with the $67 billion dollar annual revenue stream from the industry.

Visit Florida is rolling out a $5 million ad campaign. House Speaker Richard Corcoran has regularly criticized Visit Florida. Not now.


“That is the kind of expenditures that I think as a Legislative body we would warrant that they should go out and do and they benefit the entire state,” said Corcoran in a press conference earlier this week.

The campaign utilizes Commercials, billboards, and social media.


“We are thankful for the infrastructure that they have in place and the outreach that they’re able to stand up nearly immediately,” said Luebkemann.

Because the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida are still recovering they aren’t part of this ad campaign, but Governor Scott has set an October 1st deadline to welcome visitors back to the Keys.

So far Visit Florida hasn’t calculated the direct economic impact Irma had on the state’s tourism industry, but some estimates suggest the negative headlines were equal to a $500 million dollar ad campaign.

Visit Florida kicks off the campaign starting this weekend.

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