Chamber hosts Visit Florida CEO for virtual meeting
The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted a virtual meeting on Sept. 17 featuring guest speaker Dana Young, president and chief executive officer of Visit Florida. She spoke about the current state of tourism from the perspective of Florida’s official destination marketing organization.
In her Florida Tourism Rebound & Recovery presentation, Young talked about the state’s Economic & Demographic Research (EDR) studies for assessing Florida’s readiness to again promote tourism. She pointed out that the state’s readiness depends upon a number of factors, including health conditions, whether residents are ready to welcome visitors and the availability of beaches, attractions, restaurants and accommodations.
“We’ve been tracking metrics for travelers and residents to determine when would be an appropriate time to launch a campaign and we determined, by sentiment on both sides, that people in Florida are ready to travel in-state, at a level where it’s time to assist partners with advertising to get back on their feet,” she said, adding that campaigns targeting out-of-state domestic travelers will kick in within the next few weeks.
Young outlined campaigns to target in-state and domestic travelers, including co-op opportunities through ads, social media, billboards and travel banners. Sanibel-Captiva Chamber President John Lai noted that the island organization plans on participating in co-op ads in October and November as it gears up for season.
Young took the lead position with Visit Florida in 2019. A sixth-generation Floridian born and raised in Tallahassee, she previously served in the Florida House from 2010-2016, rising to Majority Leader for the 2015 and 2016 legislative sessions. In 2016, Young was elected to the Florida Senate, where she represented parts of western Hillsborough County for two years. In addition to her duties for Visit Florida, Young is a member of the U.S. Travel Association’s Chairman’s Circle.
“Throughout her career as a Florida attorney, Dana has served in leadership positions working to cultivate and protect Florida’s exceptional business climate and a world-class quality of life,” Lai said. “She came to Visit Florida with a complete tool set for the position, and we truly benefited from hearing her expertise on the topic of where tourism is headed in the current pandemic climate.”