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Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Unveils Digitally Driven Brand Initiatives At 2018 Tourism Marketing Plan Launch

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SOURCE Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Marketing Shift to Include Early Funding for Hurricane Recovery Efforts

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO, Stacy Ritter, today announced the expansion of the destination's global digital and social presence and new research that shows Greater Fort Lauderdale increased its domestic market in 2016 by 4 percent with 12.27 million visitors and increased international visitation by 13 percent over 2015 with 1.01 million visitors while the rest of the country saw a 2.1 percent decrease in overseas visitors. 

Stacy Ritter, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO, unveils the destination's 2018 Marketing Plan before hospitality partners in attendance at today's luncheon, held at the Broward County Convention Center.

New Bureau marketing initiatives include an increased media spend of $5 million, 25 percent more than last year, with at least 60 percent of the total media budget in the digital space, including multi-lingual digital visitor collateral.  To overcome negative perceptions of the recent hurricane impact on South Florida, despite minimal damage to Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale, Ritter pledged an early spend of $1 million to defend the winter high season and increase the destination's presence in key feeder markets in the Northeast, Midwest, Texas and California on social media channels, radio, and television.  

The 2018 Tourism Marketing Plan was unveiled before 500 hospitality industry partners at the Broward County Convention Center to highlight the CVB's vision for 2018 and beyond, including more targeted use of technology for customer development and marketing measurement.  "Our theme this year is Big Data," said Ritter.  "We'll use technology to take the guess work out of advertising, better target our customers and have real-time assessment of how our messaging influenced a decision to visit, length of stay and if, and when a visitor returns.  This adds up to a more effective and efficient use of our marketing dollars."

Greater Fort Lauderdale's marketing initiatives also include new programming for the Bureau's Hello Sunny TV to showcase the destination's growing culinary and beyond the beach appeal, the launch of a fully integrated public relations and social media program, a revamp of the CVB's website, strategic communications of a new Convention Center project, a new arts and culture map, an international tour operator program and competitive bidding for major sports, LGBTQ, and multicultural events and conferences.  

"We have an eclectic mix of culinary offerings, hidden gems, and a vibrant arts and culture scene. We're putting a stronger focus on working with niche and general market storytellers to share the authentic experience of our destination, and we have the right strategy and assets for share-worthy content to inspire future visitors," said Ritter.  "We are showcasing Greater Fort Lauderdale's transformation of life on and beyond the beach to leisure and business travelers, and our welcoming nature as a diverse and inclusive destination." 

The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB) 2018 Marketing Plan is developed and supported, in cooperation with the GFLCVB, Tourist Development Council, and Marketing Advisory Committee, as well as the bureau's advertising agency of record Starmark, and public relations agency Finn Partners.

For more information and a copy of the 2018 Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's marketing plan, visit www.sunny.org/partners. Visuals of the 2018 marketing plan initiatives are available upon request to jessicasavage@broward.org.

About Greater Fort Lauderdale

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 vibrant cosmopolitan 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 and Instagram: @visitlauderdale.

Media Contact: 

Jessica Savage 
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB 
Tel: 954-767-2444 
E-mail: jessicasavage@broward.org   

Sarah Mahaney
Finn Partners  
Tel: (212) 715-1600 
E-mail: sarah.mahaney@finnpartners.com

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