Tourism Bureau Chief Nicki E. Grossman Unveils New Beginnings and Sunny Outlook for
Next Wave of Destination’s Transformation

GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE (Oct. 15) – Today at the Broward County Convention Center, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) unveiled the destination's 2016 Tourism Marketing Plan at an industry luncheon with more than 550 hospitality attendees.

Coming off the success of a year-long celebration of Broward County’s centennial, the coming year brings new beginnings for the destination with a newly designed responsive tourism website launching today, new luxury tourism development, increased focus on international business and leisure travel, and ground breaking LGBTQ initiatives.

“For the past 20 years, I have had the honor and privilege of leading the tourism marketing efforts in Broward County, witnessing the transformation and evolution of this destination to the economic powerhouse it is today,” said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I look forward to the many new beginnings on the horizon for 2016.”

Highlights of the 2016 Marketing Plan include:

Advertising:

  • Winter/spring, multi-market, buzz building guerilla event in London, U.K., with a Hello Sunny takeover of taxi cabs, and bus shelter across the city
  • Multiple billboards in- and out-of-market, including in New York’s Times Square
  • TV campaign targeting millennials

Public Relations:

  • Multi-media announcement of $1+ Billion in travel and hospitality-related investment and economic development
  • Promotion of the vibrant culinary scene with the inaugural Taste Fort Lauderdale series, part of the South Beach Wine and Food Festival
  • Hosting the TBEX North America conference with more than 700 travel bloggers and industry professionals experiencing destination preview tours

Tourism Sales:

  • Focusing sales efforts to support anticipated air service from Italy, France and Scandinavia
  • Pursuing emerging markets such as China, with a new sales office in the country and key materials including a webpage and brochure in Mandarin
  • Sunny Health: a medical and wellness tourism initiative

Convention & Group Sales:

  • New meetings print and digital multi-lingual collateral to serve international groups
  • Hosting Seatrade Cruise Global in March 2016
  • Convention Center expansion and a new headquarters hotel

LGBTQ:

  • Continue to expand Transgender initiative and focus on the forgotten “T”
  • Focus on gay family travel highlighting LGBTQ inclusive hotels, attractions, dining and entertainment in Greater Fort Lauderdale
  • Pursue LGBTQ Brazilian market promoting new direct service and destination appeal

Office of Film, Music Entertainment and Creative Industries:

  • Adding “Fashion” to the “Underground” brand
  • Expanding the Underground music product through development of new events and building on Lauderdale Live and the Tortuga Music Festival, which will expand to three days in 2016
  • Focus on bringing arts, fashion and film & music events to Greater Fort Lauderdale

Multicultural:

  • Growing the religious and family reunion markets
  • Expand outreach and focus into the domestic Hispanic market
  • Broward County to host National Organization of Black Law Enforcement officers in July 2018

Sports Development:

  • Work with national and international sports leaders to generate leads and produce hotel room nights that create a positive economic impact for Broward County
  • Host ACES Conference in 2016 (Association of Chief Executives in Sports)
  • Maintain a presence with top leaders within NHL, NFL, and College Football Organizations and create synergies with local professional teams, the Florida Panthers and Fort Lauderdale Strikes

During the event, Ms. Grossman officially announced her retirement, taking effect on June 1, 2016, and was awarded the JCC Maccabi VIP Medal for exemplifying the Midot Value of Ga’ava (the Hebrew word for Pride in English), the feeling of being confident in the world, reaching one’s full potential and claiming space: I exist. I have worth. I give back.

“We honor Nicki today, for her community leadership, as well as her caring and compassionate spirit,” said Debby Eisinger and Lori Green, Executive Co-chairs of the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest.  “She has made a meaningful contribution in the lives of so many people.”   

Broward County has experienced 70 consecutive months of continued growth and has a current year-to-date hotel occupancy rate of 81.1%. That is ahead of the Florida average of 74.9%, and the nation-wide average of 67.2%. The destination is expected to welcome 15 million plus visitors – an increase of 700,000 visitors. With every 85 visitors creating one tourism job, the projected increase is estimated to generate 8,000 new jobs in Broward County.

There is no sign of this trend slowing down, with more than $704+ million in new hotel development currently underway in Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County, adding more than 1,000 new hotel rooms over the next two years. In addition, another $222+ million in improvements and renovations are earmarked at more than 10 hotels.

With the new luxury developments on the horizon, Greater Fort Lauderdale is primed to welcome more affluent travelers. According to a comprehensive analysis of the travel market in the United States, the average annual income of domestic travelers to the destination has reached $112,563 – almost 25% higher than the national average of $90,591.

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau 2016 Marketing Plan is developed and supported, in cooperation with the GFLCVB, Tourist Development Council, and Marketing Advisory Committee, by the bureau’s advertising agency of record Starmark, and public relations agency of record Finn Partners.

For more information and a copy of the 2016 Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau’s marketing plan, visit www.sunny.org/partners. Visuals of the 2016 marketing plan initiatives are available upon request to jessicasavage@broward.org.

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About Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County
From the seagrass to the sawgrass, Greater Fort Lauderdale, located in Broward County, boasts more than 34,000 lodging accommodations at a variety of hotels, luxury spa resorts, and Superior Small Lodgings reflecting a “beach chic” vibe. Visitors enjoy 23 miles of Blue Wave certified beaches, discover 300+ miles of inland waterways that run from the Intracoastal Waterway to the Everglades, dine at thousands of restaurants and eateries, get immersed in a thriving arts and culture scene and indulge in top shopping.

For more information, contact the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 22-SUNNY or visit www.sunny.org. Get social and engage with Greater Fort Lauderdale on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and Pinterest: @visitlauderdale.

Media Contact:

Jessica Savage
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
954-767-2444
jessicasavage@broward.org 

Finn Partners
Yael Baker
212-715-1600
yael.baker@finnpartners.com