Florida looks for agency to help win tourism battle

Florida’s tourist board is looking for fresh PR support as it continues to lose ground to New York in the race to att­ract British tourists.

The American state, the traditional home of Brits looking for summer sun, wants to combine its PR, marketing and sales in a bid to increase visitor numbers. The three disciplines are currently kept distinct by tourism body Visit Florida.

The move puts KBC PR’s nine-year association under threat, although the agency is repitching for the combined brief - with support from extra sales and marketing staff. PRWeek understands the PR brief is worth around £5,000 a month.

Florida has long been popular with Brits as the home of several theme parks. But is suffering from a number of angles, with the increasing availability of long-distance flights to other parts of the globe, fears surrounding the hurricane season, and the success of other destinations.

The state is also keen to promote its other attractions, including the picturesque Florida Keys, the Kennedy space centre and Miami.

To aid visitor numbers Visit Florida this month revamped its website to include increased video and audio content, so visitors can see up 6,000 images and 360-degree photography.

This month Florida also approved an increased marketing budget of over £17m for the year, putting it fifth among the American states.

Walt Disney resorts are also doing their bit to encourage extra visitors, by putting into effect regulations in line with the English smoking ban, coming into effect on 1 July.

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