TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (March 1, 2012) – VISIT FLORIDA - the state’s official tourism marketing corporation - is pleased to announce its new Airline Grant Program, which will support Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) within the state and stimulate the Florida economy by expanding international air service to the Sunshine State. VISIT FLORIDA will budget up to $250,000 per year through 2016 to support the program.
“The Airline Grant program is an innovative initiative that will ensure Florida remains at the forefront of international air service expansion opportunities,” said Chris Thompson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “As we continue to position ourselves as the No. 1 travel destination in the world, this is a great way for the state to attract new overseas travelers by creating inbound flights to Florida.”
The application process for the 2012 Airline Grant is now open and will remain open until June 30. The program is scheduled to be renewed in the new fiscal year. For more information or to fill out an application, please visit the Airline Grant Program section of the VISIT FLORIDA industry website.
“The grant program will give airports in Florida the ability to attract new flights,” said Alfredo Gonzalez, Vice President of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “By offering the Airline Grant Program, VISIT FLORIDA is providing Florida communities with an opportunity to show airlines they appreciate their business and are willing to help them increase their service to Florida.”
The Airline Grant Program is the latest effort by VISIT FLORIDA to increase the state’s share of the growing international travel market through its Air Team Florida initiative. Established to help Florida communities secure new international flights, Air Team Florida connects tourism destinations with airports and convention and visitors bureaus all across the state.
“By presenting a unified message in an incredibly competitive market, Air Team Florida is working to positively impact this critical segment of the travel industry,” said Thompson.
Another way Air Team Florida is working to promote the Florida brand to the international air travel community will come through its highly-visible participation at the 18th World Route Development Forum. The forum serves as the largest global gathering of the route development community from the world’s airlines, airports and tourism authorities. The 2012 event, being held in Abu Dhabi in late September, is expected to attract over 2,750 delegates from more than 80 countries.
In addition to the Airline Grant, VISIT FLORIDA offers a variety of grant programs for tourism businesses of all sizes. Ranging from the Small Business Partners Grant, Advertising Matching Grants, City-Wide Meetings & Conventions Grant, Minority Convention Grant and Cultural Heritage & Nature Tourism Grant, VISIT FLORIDA offers grant programs to assist many sectors of the Florida tourism industry. To learn more, visit the Grant Programs page on VISIT FLORIDA’s industry website.