Florida Sprinkles a Little Sunshine in Toronto

Delegates included Suzie Sponder with the MIA CVB

We’ve been through a lot together, Florida and Canada. And the love affair continues unabated between us, no matter what Mother Nature, pandemics, a feeble Canadian dollar and more can throw at us.

If the 10 reps from various cities and attractions across the state who hosted a media networking event in Toronto are correct, it’s going to be a bumper year for snowbird tourism.

That was the message from Erin Cramer, PR Account Executive for Visit Florida at the event, held at the tony 1Hotel in downtown Toronto on 26OCT. “We try to bring the sunshine with us - we love Canadians and you love us!”

Erin Cramer of Visit Florida

Cramer spent some time with Open Jaw, outlining new and noteworthy developments in FLA. They include the Brightline, the new train service connecting south and central Florida. The rail line which operates between Miami and Orlando (taking 3.5 hours with stops in Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach) is offered in two classes, and is proving a hit with tourists and business travellers alike.

Andrew Ricketts, repping the old-fashioned and charming “snowbird capital” of Fort Myers

New in TPA is the Edition – the first 5* hotel in the city. “It’s such an up and coming destination, not just for the MICE market but for sports fans, shoppers and visitors looking for a super fun and unique experience.”

Cramer is also particularly proud that in 2022 Michelin published its first Florida guide, focusing on Miami, Orlando and Tampa. As she explained, lots of people think of Florida as “theme parks and chain restaurants” clearly there’s a sharper, more sophisticated edge to the state where, for example, tide-to-table dining is a huge trend.

Guests enjoyed a create your own scent booth

Another big trend from the Canadian market is the growth of air service. Air Canada has launched YVR-MIA and WestJet features YVR-MCO. And don’t forget new-kid-on-the-block Porter with service to MCO, MIA, FLL and RSW; and Y9 (Lynx) to RSW.

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