With record breaking tourism figures and more than 13.4 million overnight visitors last year to its pristine beaches, vibrant attractions and events, delectable restaurants and luxury hotels, resorts and spas, Greater Miami and the Beaches has evolved from a warm winter escape to a thriving year-round, vacation, meetings and conventions destination. Attracting visitors from all corners of the globe in droves, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has significantly expanded its sales, marketing and public relations efforts to support this growth.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Always a strong feeder market for Greater Miami and the Beaches, the South American market continues to grow. Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela have consistently been strong markets for Greater Miami, but Brazil became the destination’s first billion dollar market in 2010. The GMCVB was one of the first U.S. destinations to establish a tourism office in Brazil 20 years ago and in the last six months alone, Brazil’s visitor numbers to Greater Miami are up 11.4%. In 2011, Brazil became Miami’s number one international market. Additionally, the GMCVB has appointed a new representative in Bolivia and the Caribbean. With the new addition of Bolivia, Miami now has representation in all South American countries.
The GMCVB expects even more volume from Latin America as progress is made on Visa Waiver and Visa wait times continue to decrease. New air lift from Latin America and the Caribbean continue to contribute to increased volume and includes: LAN airlines from Bogota, Colombia (4x’s per week); Interjet, Mexico’s low-cost carrier, which flies between Mexico and Miami (12x’s per week); Dutch Antilles Express, which flies between Curacao and Miami (10x’s per week); American Airlines between Manaus, Brazil and Miami (7x’s per week); GOL, Brazil’s low-cost carrier, provides weekly charter flights from Sao Paulo to Miami (via Caracas, Venezuela); and American Airlines will fly between Asuncion, Uruguay and Miami (4x’s a week) starting November 15, 2012. American Airlines has also increased its Miami-Recife, Brazil and Miami - Salvador, Brazil service starting November 15, 2012, and will add a second daily flight Miami-Rio de Janeiro starting December 15, 2012. American Airlines also enhanced flights from Brasilia and Belo Horizonte to daily service, will boost frequency to St. Kitts and Miami beginning November 16, 2012 to (9x’s per week) and will begin weekly service between Roatan and Miami starting November 17, 2012. Additionally, TAM airlines will increase capacity (62% increase) with the introduction of the 777 Aircraft between Sao Paulo and Miami beginning November 12, 2012.
Already strong in Germany and the UK, GMCVB finds emerging middle classes in several European countries are fueling travel to Miami. With demand in France, Scandinavia, Spain, Russia and the Netherlands rising, the GMCVB is adding support in these markets in a number of ways. A new office will open in Stockholm, and a new representative will be appointed in Moscow, Russia. The Bureau has also recently hired a new public relations firm in France and Italy.
Crucial for continued growth of Greater Miami’s Travel and Tourism industry is the new and expanding air lift being supported in a number of gateways including: American Airlines daily service from Barcelona, a third daily flight added by British Airways from London-Heathrow, increased frequency from Dusseldorf and Berlin on Air Berlin, new service from Moscow on Aeroflot (3x weekly), from Prague (2x’s per week) with Travel Service, an increase in Zurich-Miami frequency (from 7x’s per week to 11x’s per week) on Swiss Airlines and Lufthansa’s A380 service to MIA.
Aligning efforts with the Miami International Airport (MIA) Asia strategy, the GMCVB offices have expanded its force in China, Japan, and India by working with Visit Florida representatives who have offices in Shanghai and Mumbai. Moreover, the GMCVB has plans to conduct a travel/trade sales activity in Tokyo in the near future.
Supported By A New Brand Campaign…it’s So Miami!
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau expresses the destination’s evolution in its new, updated brand campaign. The city’s landscape has evolved with the new cultural attractions (the New World Center, New Marlins Stadium and upcoming openings of the Miami Art Museum and Miami Science Museum in 2013)and the emerging art, design and downtown districts. Visitors have more choices with the new hotels and renovations and easier travels with the $7 billion investment in Miami International Airport’s new and expanded facilities. Capturing the true essence of the destination in its new advertising campaign, impressive contrasts of what locals and travelers enjoy about the destination grab attention. From showcasing a bikini-clad blonde taking in an art exhibit to a hot orange sports car parked in front of a Cuban Coffee Shop, the series of what daily life is like in Greater Miami and the Beaches for all demographics comes to life. And while a picture can say 1,000 words, in Miami all they need is three – IT’S SO MIAMI!
Brand Usa, U.S. Travel Association And Visit Florida Partnerships
IT’S SO MIAMI comes on the heels of the highly anticipated 2011 launch of Brand USA, a public private partnership with the mission of promoting increased international travel to the United States. More than 97% of all visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches arrive by air, and more than 48% of overnight visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches are international, the highest percentage of any destination in the U.S. As the #2 port of entry into the U.S., Greater Miami is well-positioned to benefit from the Brand USA initiative.
Additionally, as a U.S. Travel Association (USTA) Board Member and Chair of the USTA Brazil Committee, GMCVB President & CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME is actively engaged in efforts to secure Visa Waiver status for countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile, while encouraging efforts to reduce Visa wait times. Significant progress was made in Brazil this year with Visa wait times reduced from a high of more than 100 days to less than 5 days.
With Visit Florida’s expanded resources, the GMCVB plans on leveraging fully from additional marketing programs and opportunities to continue to showcase the Miami destination. “Travel and Tourism is Greater Miami’s #1 industry,” says Talbert. “It’s a top priority for the GMCVB to work with our local, state and national government and industry partners to grow the Travel and Tourism industry for our community. More visitors generate more jobs, which ultimately contributes to the economic well-being of our destination.”
With representation in 38 countries covering 45 international locations, the GMCVB is working in concert with representatives of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism and marketing agency, to meet the growing demand of the BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
About The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an accredited not-for-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 and details on recommendations on where to stay, dine, spa, discover, explore, celebrate, propose and so much more, please visit 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.