The Story of Greater Fort Lauderdale

See how far we have come.

As we move forward into this new decade, we must also look back at how far we’ve come. The Greater Fort Lauderdale community has changed drastically over the years. It’s time now to recognize, appreciate and celebrate that growth so we can propel into the future and truly shine.

Message From The President

Stacy RitterThe last few years have brought us a lot to be proud of. We broadcasted a welcome message through our Greater Together initiative. It also resonated with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who presented us with a 2019 Emmy Award. We successfully hosted the first–ever Broward County Signature Event at the 2019 Riptide Music Festival, which garnered national attention from publications like Rolling Stone, as well as record social media engagement.

Our convention center expansion is underway, and we are gearing up for Pride of the Americas — the first event of its kind where representatives from 53 nations throughout North and South America and the Caribbean will come to our shores in the name of LGBT+ advocacy.

These milestones are a testament to our firm belief that diversity and inclusion should be celebrated in everything we do. We are an evolving destination. We are a creative destination. We are an innovative destination. But above all, we are a community.

Together, we are a tapestry for redefining what it means to be a destination. We are leading a movement as a destination organization. Through the impact of tourism, we are strengthening the local economy and providing opportunities for people in our community.

Along with the leadership and guidance from the dedicated people of the Marketing Advisory Committee and Tourist Development Council, my CVB team and I are proud to present the 2020 Greater Fort Lauderdale growth plan. We look forward to working closely with each of you as we make this next decade a great one — for everyone.

Stacy Ritter
President & CEO
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

 

State of Tourism 

Overall Context 

Greater Fort Lauderdale is in the middle of unprecedented growth. The traditional hotel/motel market introduced more than 1,700 rooms in 2019. It’s important now, more than ever, to develop smart and strategic marketing initiatives. The travel industry as a whole has grown continuously for 9+ years (peak was 2017/2018) and experts are saying the pace will slow. There is a nationwide “cooling” in travel, which experts attribute to a combination of a strong dollar, trade wars, fears of recession and geopolitical tensions. Early indicators are showing that visitors are spending less per trip, but it’s gradual — not an abrupt drop–off like prior declines. Forecasters are attributing that to low unemployment and rising wages for consumers who are keeping a watchful eye on the economy. Additionally, Greater Fort Lauderdale hoteliers are adjusting to the competition brought on by the short–term rental market, which showed a 37% increase in Broward County last year, and the opening of new properties.

Outlook for 2020 

It is anticipated another 3,500 hotel rooms will come online in calendar years 2020–2021 combined (representing 27 properties). Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) expects a 3% supply growth in hotel rooms, which speaks to the confidence level from both investors and consumers of our destination. South Florida is also ranked as one of the top five vacation rental markets, which adds 10,000+ short–term rental properties to the mix. The expectation is that demand/ADR will remain flat and possibly experience a slight downturn in 2020. Due to the completion of the renovations at the airport, forecasting of additional Canadian flights and the addition of new cruise ships, we anticipate airline and cruise passenger traffic to increase modestly.


New Brand Approach

GFLCVB’s research findings have inspired a new outlook for the destination’s marketing efforts for 2020 and beyond.

  • Implement a community-first strategy inspired by research findings.
  • Increase branding efforts as a percentage of marketing communications.
  • Capitalize on the opportunity to mean something in the minds of travelers across all ages.
  • Increase an emphasis on early–funnel communications with rigorous adherence to a consistent position, tone and voice.
  • Evoke emotion, and stand for one simple idea in the minds of travelers.

Read more about our 2020 Growth Plan. 

growth plan
Click here to download 2020 Growth Plan.


A Look Back: Beaches and Beyond

Destination Timeline

See Greater Fort Lauderdale transform before your eyes, from the breakout success of Where the Boys Are in the 60s and the peak of Spring Break in the 80s to the luxury hotels, booming downtown district and diverse community of the new millennium.