Polk County Ramps Up Presence In Canada

The Polk County (Florida) Division of Tourism and Sports Marketing, commonly known as Visit Central Florida, has announced a new strategy aimed at bringing it closer to the Canadian travel trade with its new representative based in Toronto, Juanita Ariza from TM Americas.

Kris Keprios, senior sales Manager for Polk County Division of Tourism and Sports Marketing, said that: “Canada is Florida’s largest international source market. Being closer to the travel trade is important, especially in the post-pandemic era, when travelers are looking for experiences closer to nature.”

Keprios continued: “As our attractions and accommodations inventory grows, with more resorts, hotels, vacation homes, and RV Resorts, it is essential to have a presence in the Canadian market.”

The fourth-largest county in Florida, located between Orlando and Tampa, is home to unique attractions, such as Legoland Florida Resort, Peppa Pig Theme Park, Safari Wilderness, Westgate River Ranch Resort  & Rodeo, Bok Tower Gardens, Bonnet Springs Park (featuring the new Florida Children’s Museum), the world’s largest one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Florida Air Museum, Sun N Fun Aerospace Expo and many more. Winter Haven, Lakeland, Davenport, Lake Wales, and Bartow are the most recognized cities in Polk County and home to unlimited experiences for all kinds of travelers. Sports are also popular in Polk County.

From watersports in the 55 lakes in the region to spring big league baseball practices, over 40 public golf courses with more than 630 holes, and soccer, football, and baseball fields that host tournaments year-round. International events are also part of the county’s yearly agenda.

For example, in October, Winter Haven hosted the IWWF World Water Ski Show; teams and individuals from around the world traveled to the Water Ski Capital of the World to participate in the 3-day competition.

Meetings, Conventions, and events are also unique in Polk County, with 100,000 square feet of meeting space, 7,200 hotel rooms, more than 7,000 professionally managed vacations homes, two international airports within reach, close to all main Central Florida attractions, and unique venues to host from executive events to conventions.

Juanita Ariza is TM America’s Associate VP of business development with over 12 years of experience in customer service and tourism marketing, developing brands and businesses for destinations, attractions, and resorts in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, and since 2019 has been coordinating specific projects in Canada.

She has worked with Visit Central Florida for 8 years, representing them in Latin America and now has the opportunity to show the wonders of Central Florida to the Canadians.

Ariza said: “I am thrilled about this new challenge. I want to continue excellently promoting this unique destination, full of activities, nature, and fantastic options for Canadians interested in traveling any time of the year.”

For more, go to www.VisitCentralFlorida.org or to contact Ariza, email [email protected], or call (754) 301-1837.