TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 12, 2013) – During the 46th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held September 11-13 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, VISIT FLORIDA announced the 2013 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inductees, as well as the winners of the Flagler and Iris Larson Awards. Annually, leaders in Florida tourism are chosen by a selection committee to receive these prestigious honors and awards.
Florida Tourism Hall of Fame
Since 2001, individuals have been chosen annually to be inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame. This honor, presented by the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, recognizes contemporary and historic figures whose vision, creativity and drive have had a positive and significant impact on the development of Florida as a desirable visitor destination.
The 2013 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inductees are Bill and Anne France. Formed by a family’s vision on the Daytona beaches more than 65 years ago, the NASCAR business model continues to be the envy of sports entities around the globe, attracting world-wide attention and a positive shining light on the state. Driven largely by tourism, the economic impact of that vision numbers in the billions and creates tens of thousands of jobs, nearly a billion dollars annually in labor income and hundreds of millions in tax revenue. According to a survey in 2012, 61% of the attendees of the Daytona 500 travel to the Florida event from out of state or out of country; and 40% of the attendees traveled more than 500 miles and stay in Florida for 5 nights or more. In July 2013, new plans to invest in a massive facility and surrounding areas upgrade to the Daytona International Speedway resulted in more jobs, economic impact and construction-related state revenues, on the lead up to even more tourism for the state of Florida.
Named for Henry Flagler, the Flagler Awards were established in 2000 to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Annually, the Flagler Awards honor many of the countless individuals and organizations that help maintain and improve Florida’s position as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. The awards are open to all individuals, private businesses and not-for-profit organizations offering a product or service that promotes tourism to or within the state of Florida.
Working independently, a panel of five judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality and effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges’ cumulative scores, awards were presented to the top three entries in each category: the Bronze Award for the third highest scoring entry, the Silver Award for the second highest scoring entry, and for the highest scoring entry in each category, the Henry Award. The 2013 Flagler Award winners in 17 categories, plus Best in Show at three budget levels, are listed below.
Creativity in Public Relations
Bronze Award: Visit Orlando – Orlando Makes the World Smile on World Smile Day
Silver Award: Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau – Shellabration - 75th Annual Shell Fair & Show
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Goodbye Chilly, Hello Sunny
Bronze Award: Panama City Beach CVB – St. Louis to Panama City Beach Email Blast
Silver Award: Visit Orlando – 2012 Direct Marketing Brochure
The Henry: Sterling Resorts – Sterling Resorts Black Friday Sale
Bronze Award: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB – Paradise Refined and Redefined
Silver Award: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny Marketing App-like Ad
The Henry: Seminole County CVB – "Wild Side of Orlando"
Mixed Media Campaign
Bronze Award: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater – Pow Wow 2012
Silver Award: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny
The Henry: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau – It's So Miami
Bronze Award: The Florida Keys & Key West – Mobile Swipe - The Florida Keys
Silver Award: Pasco County Office of Tourism Development – VisitPasco.net Mobi Website
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Fork Lauderdale Dining App
Bronze Award: The Florida Keys & Key West – "Not a dinghy...", "Size or ship", "Harmonize", "Get out and stay out"
Silver Award: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB – Paradise Golfing Refined and Redefined
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny Campaign - LGBT
Bronze Award: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB – Peace & Tranquility
Silver Award: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – London Taxi Wrap
The Henry: The Florida Keys & Key West – Penn Station Domination
Bronze Award: Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – Real. Authentic. Florida. Print Brand Campaign
Silver Award: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny / Meet Sunny
The Henry: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB – Fresh Air Meets Fresh Thinking
Bronze Award: Visit Tallahassee – Winter Nights & Holiday Lights Radio Spot
Silver Award: Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – "Real. Authentic. Florida." Radio Campaign
The Henry: The Florida Aquarium – Take Your Breath Away
Resource/Promotional Material – Consumer
Bronze Award: Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – Bradenton Gulf Islands Domestic Visitor Magazine
Silver Award: Globelite Travel Marketing Inc. – The Travel Guide to Florida
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny Vacation Playbook
Resource/Promotional Material – Trade
Bronze Award: TradeWinds Island Resorts – Meetings Market Margarita Mix Mailer
Silver Award: Seminole County CVB – "Thank You"
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Greater Fort Lauderdale Office of Film & Entertainment Sizzle Reel
Rural County Marketing – New Category in 2013
Bronze Award: Franklin County Tourist Development Council – Salty Florida Visitor Guide
Silver Award: Visit Natural North Florida – Fish Natural North Florida
The Henry: Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau – "Buy One Get One"
Social Media Marketing
Bronze Award: Visit Jacksonville – Visit Jacksonville Summer Facebook Contest
Silver Award: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau – It's So Miami
The Henry: Perdido Key Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center – I Love Perdido Key Facebook Page
Bronze Award: The Florida Aquarium – Brews By The Bay
Silver Award: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau – It's So Miami in Manhattan
The Henry: Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau – Rock the Vote in The Palm Beaches and Boca Raton
Bronze Award: Visit Orlando – Mass Exodus
Silver Award: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB – Winter Gloves
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – :30 Hello Sunny TV
Bronze Award: Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau – Travel Rally Day
Silver Award: Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum – Tourism Cares for the Pensacola Lighthouse
The Henry: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny Marketing Plan
Bronze Award: Visit Jacksonville – Visit Jacksonville.com
Silver Award: St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau – Historic Coast Flavors.com
The Henry: Florida's First Coast of Golf – Florida-Golf.org
Best of Show in three budget categories
Marketing Budgets under $100,000: Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum – Tourism Cares for the Pensacola Lighthouse
Marketing Budgets $100,000 to $1 million: Seminole County CVB – "Wild Side of Orlando"
Marketing Budgets Over $1 million: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau – Hello Sunny
Iris D. Larson Awards
Created by Bob and Iris Larson, past owners of a small motel in Kissimmee, Florida, the Iris D. Larson Awards were created to recognize hospitality and tourism industry professionals and students who exemplify the qualities of selfless spirit of service and leadership in their work experience.
Hospitality Endowment’s Industry Service Award Winner – Rhonda Stokes
Ms. Stokes has worked in the hospitality and tourism industry for more than 20 years, beginning her career as a busgirl at the age of 13. For the past 11 years, she has worked at ChampionsGate Golf Resort – first as a server, then bartender and most recently as a Food & Beverage Supervisor. Rhonda dedicates herself to anticipating guest’s needs and doing everything possible to ensure their experience is pleasurable as well as memorable. She believes that a little kindness goes a long way and that people respond in a positive way if you just smile, are kind and truly concerned with them being happy when they leave your establishment. She was nominated for the award by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Scholarship Award Winners
Jacqueline Craft, Junior, Hospitality Management and Business Management, Florida State University
Ms. Craft’s philosophy for the hospitality industry comes in three distinct parts: always give your best; there’s a solution to every problem; and strive to bring joy to each person you come in contact with. She feels that a solid work ethic can help achieve unimaginable progress in a career, as well as giving a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.
Vincent Bedard, Junior, Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida
Mr. Bedard strives to provide guests with a superior level of service excellence, resulting in the most authentic experience possible for them. He feels that as a future leader in the hospitality industry he must “walk the walk” rather than only “talk the talk,” and that leading by example is the most effective way to inspire employees and encourage them to invest energy and time in their organization.
Athya Chowdhury, Senior, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Florida International University
Ms. Chowdhury has known since childhood that her passion was to become an owner and manager of a hotel, and as she grew up she realized the hospitality industry’s power to attract and retain customers for life comes from a common ground of genuine care and comfort for others.
For additional information, contact Kathy Torian at ktorian@VISITFLORIDA.org
or (850) 205-3865.
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 91.5 million visitors in 2012 who spent $71.8 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing more than one million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates more than $258 in tourism spending and $15 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including 2,700 invested Partners, 8,900 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to www.VISITFLORIDA.org or follow our corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org.