The Air Canada Vacations Roadshow presented by Visit Florida rolled into town last night (April 18), providing travel agents with updates on what’s new in the Sunshine State, reports Press Today’s Ann Ruppenstein who was on hand for the event.
“We’re very excited to be here to highlight all the wonderful product offerings we have in this wonderful destination,” says Dianne Pedroso, ACV area sales manager, Toronto West to Niagara Region. “We just launched an exciting sale this month called the Florida Frenzy! sale, where we’re actually offering up to 50% off select hotel packages with many of the partners that you are going to see here tonight. We have deals that are starting at $529, which is a fantastic price point, we’ve become very competitive in this market and if you add air flights your clients also have an opportunity to earn 5,000 bonus Aeroplan miles as part of this promotional campaign.”
In Florida, Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge offers service to Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Sarasota and Jacksonville.
“And what’s in it for you?” she adds. “We’re also giving you the opportunity to earn four times the ACV & Me reward points when you book the Florida packages during the month of April, which means more cash in your pocket. You can book flexible space ranging from three nights or more, and we also allow you to customize packages and book open-jaw combinations so you can visit more than one of these wonderful destinations.”
Tourism and hotel partners from Florida, which saw a record 112.8 million visitors in 2016, were also on hand to highlight further developments and promotional updates:
Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel
- Has great air service for Canadians with direct Air Canada flights
- Offers access to the Key West Express for overnight or day trips
- What sets it apart: over 100 Barrier islands, is the world’s top shell destination, no commercial businesses, everything is locally owned, over 190 miles of kayaking and over 100 golf courses
Daytona Beach CVB
- No longer famous for being a spring break destination! Families yes, but no longer a party scene
- Located 50m from Orlando
- Home to the water park, Daytona Lagoon, has weekly fireworks from Memorial Day to Labour Day on the pier, home to the newly opened Tanger Outlet Mall (opened in November), the largest collection of Cuban art outside of Cuba, the Daytona International Speedway and Ladies Professional Golf Association.
Visit Sarasota County
- Features 35m of beach front, Siesta Beach was voted the best beach by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards of Top 25 US Beaches
- Home to Venice Beach, known as the shark tooth capital of the world, over 20,000 exotic plants, manatees, two state parks, eight shopping districts and 40 annual festivals
- Siesta Beach recently underwent a $21 million amenities renovation
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater
- Features 45km of beach front from north to south
- Known for white sand beaches and clear blue water
- In 2016, Clearwater Beach was named the #1 US beach on TripAdvisor
- Home to the newly opened Opal Sands Resort, where Dolphin Tale 1& 2 were filmed, the dolphins are still at the Clearwater Marine Hospital,St. Petersburg’s The Dali Museum has the largest collection outside of Spain, has a thriving craft beer scene – known as the Gulp Coast
Visit Tampa Bay
- Area has become much more developed, has a growing food, beer (including a Brew Bus tour) and entertainment scene
- Home to one of the biggest Gasparilla Pirate Festivals, where thousands of adults dress up like pirates
- Has Florida’s only CityPass with access to Busch Gardens, the Tampa aquarium and more
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
- Known as the Venice of America and the yachting capital of the world
- Home to water taxi service so visitors never have to drive while there and the largest outlet mall in the state
- Direct lift service with Air Canada
- Is a multi-generational destination
- Close to Miami, but with a calmer and more relaxed atmosphere
Lago Mar Resort & Club
- Is a privately owned property since 1959 with no resort fees and free parking
- Rated the #1 resort in Florida on TripAdvisor
- Features 164 suites, located five minutes from Port Everglades, is a 4 Diamond Resort, main attraction is the beach but has two pools including a 9,000 sq ft lagoon style pool, sits on 10 acres with four tennis courts.
City of Pompano Beach
- Will soon be home to 18 ship wrecks, Lady Luck was last ship to be sunk, which was decorated like a casino and is very popular with divers
- Known for water sports, home to the only non-smoking casino in the area
Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach & Hyde Resort & Residence
- The 363 room Hyde Resort & Residence opened two months ago and features 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites
- The Crowne will become a DoubleTree later this year and will maintain no resort fees
Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort
- Flagship resort property, all 349 guest rooms have water views
- The giant flip flop in the lobby is the most Googled feature
The show stops in Montreal on Thursday at The Loft Hotel. Travel agents looking to specialize in the destination can also enroll to the University of Visit Florida at universityofvisitflorida.com.
Pictured at the Shangri La Hotel Toronto are Air Canada Vacations’ Heidi Schnitker, Dianne Pedroso, Tyler Mattioli, Nancy Jeronimo, Julie Arsenault and Krista Cardona.