In this context, Travel2latam had the opportunity to talk with Dana Young, CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.
I want to ask you about your feelings about your participation in this type of big convention
Well, I'm really proud of the participation that Visit Florida has of our partners with us. We have 15 partners in our stand, plus Orlando has their own, so we have 16 partners here. And if you look around, there's not a very big presence by other U.S. destinations, so I think it's really important that we're here.
Can you explain to me your goals to be present here?
Our goals are to connect with all of our key partners, to go ahead and start putting business together for the upcoming year, put projects and marketing campaigns together for the upcoming year, and make sure that the European tourists, particularly British tourists, continue coming back to Florida year after year.
Can you tell me some comments about how big the European market is for you?
The European market is huge. So Canada is our number one international market. But then the UK comes up very quickly as third. But seven of our top ten markets are in Latin America. So we're here mainly for the UK and Germany.
And connectivity is pretty important at the moment. And here you have a lot of airlines presenting. So I want to ask you if you will have meetings to grow your connectivity.
Oh yes, I'll be meeting with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic while I'm here. I may have some other airline meetings that I haven't seen yet. It's key. We have a new direct flight into Miami on Norse Airways that dramatically increases the seat capacity into Miami direct from Gatwick.
Okay this convention is part of a big investment you know in different types of events that you have made during the day during the year so I want to ask you about your plans for the next year about conventions.
Well I think we'll continue our commitment to be at the World Travel Market. I know that we're also scheduled to be at ANATO in Colombia. Festeros Gramado in Brazil. Just a week. And we've committed to several other trade shows, particularly in Latin America, over the next several months.
Okay, and what's your expectations for 2024 in general?
Well, we don't make predictions, but I'm always very optimistic on the fact that Florida is an amazing place. We are changing up our marketing to introduce travelers to new things in Florida that they may not have known, including a lot of natural, nature-based and adventure travel, and parts of the state that are off the beaten path. So my hope is that we can educate travelers and they spend more time seeing more of our state than just the key gateway cities.