Florida also makes itself easy to sell simply by offering so much: “From world-renowned beaches to natural and man-made attractions, diverse outdoor adventures and an impressive array of ‘off the beaten path’ locations,” adds Forrow. “Everyone’s vision of a dream vacation is a little different. Florida offers everything from enjoying a relaxing beach getaway to discovering thrilling attractions. It is the perfect destination for families, girls’ getaways or a couple’s retreat.”
As for the Reader’s Choice Award designation, she says “We are incredibly honored to win this award from Recommend’s readers and want to thank them for voting us their favorite destination three years in a row.”
Florida continues to enhance its product offerings each year, and Orlando seems to continue to outdo itself. Forrow notes such new sites as Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which she says has been “wildly popular,” and the brand-new LEGOLAND Florida, which opened in October. LEGOLAND is the largest Florida theme park to open in a decade and includes more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, including LEGO models. Discovery Cove opened The Grand Reef, which features multiple levels of underwater and beach exploration in June.
Walt Disney World celebrated its 40th anniversary in October, and agents can always look forward to it continuing to add to its experience. In 2012, Disney World will debut a family suites value resort. It will also open the first in a series of attractions that will double the size of Fantasyland, which will be the largest-ever expansion of the Magic Kingdom.
New accommodations in the Orlando area include the 400-room luxury Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, located within Walt Disney World Resort. The Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld recently completed a 5-year, more than $35 million renovation project. Changes include an expansion to the pool area with “R Aqua Zone” designed as an interactive water playground for tweens and teens.
Adding to the state’s natural allure, is that VISIT FLORIDA is very committed to its relationships with travel agents and helping them sell the destination.
“The travel professional market has been a top priority for VISIT FLORIDA for many years,” says Forrow. “In addition to our travel agent events around the country, our Industry Guides and our Florida Specialist program, we believe our dedicated travel professional website is one of the best in the business. We continuously strive to provide the most up-to-date information to make selling Florida easy.”