Travel & Tourism Business Briefs - Sept. 2004
A Multicultural Approach
Broward County's effort to market itself to multicultural visitors is paying off. Its hotels are hitting as much as 70% occupancy during summer months that normally see 40%. And officials are crediting an uptick in minority visitors. Now the man leading the effort, Albert Tucker, hopes to produce similar results statewide. Tucker has been named Multicultural Committee chair of Visit Florida, the state's official tourism marketing organization. He'll lead a committee of nine that wants to tap into the reported $1.3-trillion buying power of the nation's African-American, Hispanic and Asian domestic travelers. The committee also will target gay and lesbian travelers and people with disabilities, Tucker says. As vice president of Multicultural Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau for the past four years, Tucker and his team have increased multicultural participation in tourism and convention sales by more than 60%.
Fairfield Resorts Inc., the largest timeshare company with 65 resorts worldwide, has opened its first units at its new flagship property at Walt Disney World. Fairfield Orlando at Bonnet Creek will have 1,100 units. ... Loews Hotels, including three properties at Universal Studios Orlando and the Don CeSar in St. Pete Beach, now offers a family concierge service in partnership with Parenting magazine. A concierge contacts family members before their trip to discuss what they might need. ... Conrad has officially opened its first new property in the U.S. with the debut of Conrad Miami this summer featuring about 320 rooms and suites. ... Work is set to wrap up this month on $17 million in renovations at the West Palm Beach Marriott, which is being converted from a Sheraton near the Palm Beach Convention Center. ... As a new acquisition of the Hilton chain, the 746-room Adam's Mark Daytona Beach Resort will undergo $20 million in renovations and additions by early next year.
Universal Studios Orlando is transforming itself into an adults-only park after hours on Labor Day weekend to cater to the nation's 16 million singles who travel each year. U-Nite Florida (uniteflorida.com) includes martini parties, Renaissance-style and Egyptian feasts, compatibility tests, three-minute dating sessions and rides.