Florida rethinks its tourism PR strategy

ORLANDO, FL: The 10 members of the Orlando/Orange County Convention

& Visitor's Bureau (OCVB) are creating a new PR plan to combat an

occupancy rate that has plunged nearly 20% (from 62% to 45%), since the

September 11 terrorist attacks.

With 43 million visitors a year, tourism is Orlando's number-one


The $20.8 billion industry contributes 48% of Orange County's

yearly sales tax receipts. Since the attacks, the staff has received

more than 150 media calls inquiring about tourism rates in the


Last week, the OCVB began a new marketing campaign in cooperation with

the Kissimmee/St. Cloud OCVB. The $5 million print and broadcast

ad campaign will target the Southeastern US. The campaign's tagline is

"Family time, family place."

"The research tells us people want to spend more time with their

families, and we're a family destination," said Danielle Courtenay, VP

of PR for the OCVB. "The fly market is critical for us, but all the

research says we need to focus on the drive market in the short term

because that's how we're going to impact short-term business."

Courtenay sits on the board of the state tourism council, Visit Florida,

and is working to find out how Orlando might be involved with an

upcoming multimillion-dollar statewide ad campaign.

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