May 25, 2015

Special Report: Tourism Trends

Go Figure - Why Visitors Still Flock to Florida

Tourism has been one of the few bright spots amid a lagging economy. What's behind the big surge in visitors?

Lilly Rockwell | 10/8/2012

Olá, Brazil

Facing a drop in domestic travel of 2 million visitors (5%) in 2009, officials in Orlando needed a way to draw more tourists without relying on recession-weakened America. So Visit Orlando began a new effort to reach out to Brazilians, a logical focus because of a new non-stop service to São Paulo and the country’s fast-growing middle class, flourishing economy and shortened visa wait times.

Beginning in 2009, and in conjunction with some of the city’s largest theme parks, Visit Orlando spent $1 million annually on a major marketing campaign in Brazil. The agency launched a special website in Portuguese, gave away free trips during morning talk shows and ran advertisements on television, in print and online.

The investment paid off. By 2011, tour operators reported booking 115,000 Brazilians thanks to this campaign, generating $166 million in tourism spending.

South American Visitors to Florida

Country 2008 2011
Brazil 550,000 1,470,000
Argentina 150,000 380,000
Colombia 200,000 310,000
Chile 70,000 100,000
Source: Visit Florida

Tags: Travel & Tourism, Tourism Trends

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