News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida
News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

'Great Outdoors Are The Safe Outdoors': Visit Florida Gameplans Marketing Strategy For 2021

Beach goers enjoy a day on the sand and in the water, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, on Miami Beach, Florida's famed South Beach. Beaches in Miami-Dade County opened with restrictions Wednesday after having been closed for 12 weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Beach goers enjoy a day on the sand and in the water, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, on Miami Beach, Florida's famed South Beach. Beaches in Miami-Dade County opened with restrictions Wednesday after having been closed for 12 weeks due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

State tourism agency Visit Florida is putting together a game plan for attracting tourists in the coming year. It held a conference call Tuesday to discuss its marketing strategy through 2021.

Staci Mellman is Visit Florida’s chief marketing officer.

“After the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Florida, which was at the beginning of March, air travel pretty much vanished, and first-quarter visitation fell an estimated 10.7 percent compared to Q1 of 2019,” Mellman said.

That downturn in visitors is the largest single-quarter reversal since the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Mellman says. Visit Florida is anticipating more travelers to be driving in the coming year, as consumer confidence in flying has taken a significant hit from COVID-19.

But Mellman says competition with other states to attract travelers will be fierce, as she says other destinations will be fighting to maintain “their share of a smaller pie of travelers.”

There is scientific consensus that essentially is an endorsement for Florida tourism: Outdoor activities, year-round sunshine, smart social distancing, can make for a nearly risk-free vacation experience,” Mellman said. “Florida’s great outdoors, for us, are the safe outdoors.”

The agency hopes international travelers from Mexico and Canada will fill a void in overseas travelers coming to the U.S.

Copyright 2020 WFSU. To see more, visit .