This week PressToday is on the road discovering The Palm Beaches, Florida along with a group of Ontario-based travel agents.
“Some people think it’s just a stretch of beach but it’s made up of 39 municipalities and 47 miles of beaches,” Paul Larcher, account director for Discover The Palm Beaches Florida, represented in Canada by VoX International, told PressToday. “It’s much more than just a beach destination. It has amazing dining ranging from 5-star restaurants down to hamburger joints. There’s great nightlife. Delray is a very cool town, it’s really laid back.”
Palm Beach County stretches from Boca Raton up to Jupiter Beach. While the destination has made a name for itself as a winter refuge for the rich and famous, Eva Damato, senior account executive, Leisure Sales at Discover The Palm Beaches said there’s something for every budget with over 220 hotels to choose from.
“There’s a misconception that it’s really expensive,” she said. “There are endless options for luxury or you can go casual. We have a lot of boutique hotels.”
Canada is the largest international market for The Palm Beaches, which Larcher hopes will continue to grow with a 16.5% increase in airlift capacity from Air Canada Rouge and since Vox International took on the role of managing trade relations for the destination in Canada in February.
“We are very excited about our seasonal service onboard Air Canada Rouge as we are the only airline that provides non-stop service between Canada and West Palm Beach,” said Jamie Fox, senior account manager at Air Canada. “Air Canada Rouge provides service from October to April from both Montreal and Toronto. Montreal will begin with three times weekly service then move to daily service in December. Toronto will begin with daily flights and we will then add a second frequency, with double daily flights as of December, until mid April.”
The airline also offers year-round flights from both Montreal and Toronto to Fort Lauderdale, which is roughly an hour away from The Palm Beaches, and seasonal service from Ottawa in winter.
“As the weather begins to change and if you’re one to chase the sun, it’s a great reminder that we offer so many quick and convenient Florida getaways that will surely get you through the Canadian weather,” Fox added. “We look forward to welcoming everyone onboard this winter season.”
For those flying into Fort Lauderdale (or Miami) seeking an alternate to renting a car, Larcher suggests the luxe modern Brightline service, which is being rebranded to Virgin Trains USA. The route connects West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, and is in the process of extending to Orlando.
From shopping and nightlife to museums, golf courses and eco-tourism, Larcher said the goal of the fam is to showcase the diversity of the county to the travel trade.
“We want them to realize The Palm Beaches has a lot. It’s the only place in Florida you can watch a polo match in the Everglades,” he said. “There is so much more to do than plop your bum on the beach.”
Stay tuned for more as the group discovers some of the notable hotels in the region and some of the highlights for visitors to experience.
Pictured at the Marriott Singer Island are: Eva Damato, Discover The Palm Beaches; Isobel Mickiewicz, New Wave Travel; Krista Shaver, Tripcentral.ca; Paul Larcher, VoX International; Eve Wasilewski, Carlson Wagonlit; Lise Palermo, New Wave Travel; Svetlana Strohm, TravelEdge; Jamie Fox, Air Canada, and members from the host hotel team.