Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the State Division of Emergency Management have awarded $1.25 million in emergency marketing funds to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) to assist the destination in correcting misperceptions among potential visitors about the effects of the Gulf oil spill.
Tourism is Miami-Dade's number one industry, employing more than 100,000 people, and representing 20 percent of jobs in the county. In 2009, nearly 12 million overnight visitors generated more than $107 million in tourist taxes, including 28 percent of the state sales tax collected in the county. Visitors spent approximately $16.5 billion in lodging, food, shopping and ancillary services and activities.
"Nearly 50 percent of all Miami visitors come from international markets, and so the campaign supported by these funds will be carrying the Florida message internationally, benefiting the entire state," said GMCVB President and CEO William D. Talbert, III. "This $1.25 million allocation is the amount requested for this stage in the crisis, where we have seen some minor cancellations. However, if the situation worsens, we will renew our original request for an additional $4 million, for a total of $5.25 million."
The GMCVB recently launched www.SeeMiamiLive.com, which features webcams trained on the beaches to show their cleanliness, and added a dedicated FAQ page to our the site to answer questions about the oil spill's impact on the area. The funds will be used to expand the reach and frequency of GMCVB's summer campaign.