MIAMI, June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has been awarded $1.25 million in emergency marketing funds from Florida Governor Crist and the State Division of Emergency Management to assist the destination in correcting misperceptions among potential visitors about the effects of the Gulf oil spill.
Dispelling these perceptions is critical, since tourism is Miami-Dade's number one industry, employing more than 100,000 people, and representing 1 in 5 jobs in the County. In 2009, nearly 12 million overnight visitors generated more than $107 million in tourist taxes, including 28% of the State sales tax collected in the County. Visitors spent approximately $16.5 billion in lodging, food, shopping and ancillary services and activities.
"We are grateful to Governor Crist for his leadership, and for recognizing that the oil spill is a statewide issue, affecting not only the areas already seeing oil sheen and/or tar balls, but the rest of the State, which suffers from the perception that they are affected, too," noted GMCVB Chair Steven Haas. "Securing these funds would not have been possible without the support of the Miami-Dade legislative delegation, and the leadership of Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach."
GMCVB President and CEO William D. Talbert, III, added, "Unlike many other parts of the State, nearly 50% 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.
"This $1.25 million allocation is the amount requested for this stage in the crisis, where we have seen some minor cancellations," Talbert continued. "However, if the situation worsens, we will renew our original request for an additional $4 million, for a total of $5.25 million.
"Prior to receiving this funding, we had already proactively taken several steps, including launching the www.SeeMiamiLive.com portal, featuring webcams trained on our beaches to show their pristine cleanliness, and added a dedicated FAQ page to our website to answer questions about the oil spill's impact on the area," Talbert concluded.
The funds will be used to expand the reach and frequency of GMCVB's summer campaign, which emphasizes the range of appeals that make Greater Miami and the Beaches unique.
Highlighted value options include Miami Spa Month throughout July, with tempting value-priced spa treatments and pampering (www.MiamiSpaMonth.com); Miami 443 (www.Miami443.com), offering four nights' accommodation or four tickets to selected attractions for the price of three; Miami Spice Month (www.ILoveMiamiSpice.com), featuring enticing restaurant values throughout August and September; and other value-driven offerings that emphasize "Things Are Different in Miami."
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is a non-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions. For a vacation guide visit our website at www.MiamiAndBeaches.com or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777. To reach the GMCVB offices dial 305-539-3000. Meeting planners may call 1-800-933-8448 (US/Canada only) or 305-539-3071 or visit www.MiamiMeetings.com.
SOURCE The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau