While Miami is clearly noted for its high-end lifestyle, tourism officials in the south Florida metropolis are eager for visitors to know that there’s a “real city” that lurks below the image of spectacular beaches, amazing nightlife, celebrity hotspots, flashy cars and beautiful people.

 

And to that end, the city has launched a tourism marketing campaign called “Found in Miami,” which highlights “the Miami that defies all expectations.”

 

If my first visit to the city some years ago is any indication, it’s a campaign that clearly hits the mark. From the topless bathers on Miami beach (this was conservative America after all, not the French Riviera) to reluctantly being dragged onto the dance floor for a salsa lesson, I quickly learned there was more to Miami than meets the media’s eye. I can truly say I’d never had food so unexpectedly good. Take notice good, across the board. I was hushed for talking a little too loudly about Cuba – a different kind of unexpected in the land of free speech.

 

At the heart of the new tourism campaign, says Greater Miami CVB chief marketing officer Roland Aedo, is that Miami is a city of diverse neighbourhoods; places like Little Havana and Little Haiti that are rich in food, arts and culture. There’s also the Bahamian history of Coconut Grove/Village West. In fact, Aedo notes, more than 50 per cent of Miami’s population comes from elsewhere. “Miami has a lot of these authentic and organic experiences,” he says.

 

The goal of the campaign, Aedo adds, is to embrace Miami’s sense of place and to position the city as “soul stirring.”

 

“Our campaign,” he says, “is about telling a story” – a story that is a different from the one everybody knows.

 

One thing that everybody does know is that the city is a cruise mecca. In fact, Greater Miami CVB President & CEO William Talbert points out that PortMiami processes more passengers – almost five million a year – than any other in the world. Add to that a convention centre that’s being “reimagined” to the tune of US$615 million (opening 2018), a new cruise terminal for the port, and $7 billion being spent on MIA, and the prospects for the future are as bright as the Brightline high-speed rail service from Orlando, West Palm and Fort Lauderdale that opens this summer.

 

Never mind the headwinds of 2016 when, Talbert acknowledges, “a little hurricane came by; a little mosquito (zika) flew by…

 

“Tourism,” he assures, “always was, and always will be, number one in Miami.”

 

But you know, Bill, that’s not unexpected.

 

This and That

 

 

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to pose for the cover of Delta Air Line’s July inflight magazine isn’t sitting well with some members of the Canadian airline industry. Accompanied by a feature in the magazine examining the “challenges and opportunities he faces leading the country” and a letter from Delta CEO Ed Bastian highlighting Delta's 80-year service and history in Canada, the journalistic exercise also corresponded with Delta’s Canada Day fare sale. “This is an industry issue that the PM did this,” one infuriated airline exec told CT-Canadian Traveller. “This is also BS that on Canada Day that the PM actually does a cover shot on a foreign airline that competes vigorously against (Canadian carriers)… I would say (we are) very disappointed in the PM’s blatant disregard for the Canadian travel industry and all stakeholders, including travel agencies.”

 

 

  • Sandals Resorts International chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart says Sandals Royal Barbados is on schedule for opening before the winter sun season kicks in. “[It] is progressing as it should and will most certainly be open and ready to welcome its first guests, as promised, on Dec. 20,” he stated this week.

 

  • Emerald Waterways has christened the latest addition to its growing fleet of river ships, the Emerald Radiance in Porto, Portugal, where the ship will sail on the Douro. It’s the third ship added to Emerald’s fleet this year for a total of 11.

 

 

Trade Ticker

 

  • Air Canada has launched service to Toronto from Mumbai. The four times weekly service aboard Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft is the only non-stop service from Canada to India’s largest city. The airline also serves Delhi from Toronto and seasonally from Vancouver, starting in October. Air Canada rouge also lifted off for its inaugural Montreal-Tangiers flight on July 1.

 

  • Collette’s Canada Day contest for agents continues throughout the month of July. To qualify, agents simply have to submit a photo of their hometown at www.gocollette.com/hometown and tell the tour operator why they love it so much. Approved submissions will be displayed in the gallery page. Limit of one contest submission per person. Winners will be announced shortly after Aug. 9.

 

  • Air Transat’s winter 2017-18 program to travellers from Ontario, will feature two new destinations: Tampa, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico – as well as new flights to Samana (Dominican Republic) from Ottawa and to Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) from Sault Ste. Marie. 

 

Words of the Week!

 

“We are the cruise capital of the world. Always was, always will be. We own that phrase!”

 

- William Talbert, Greater Miami CVB President & CEO, noting that close to five million passengers a year pass through the Port of Miami.

 

miami playing chess
Credit: PIXABAY

There's more to Miami than celebrity culture, such as getting a game of chess in Little Havana.

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