Sun shines at Florida Huddle

The annual Florida Huddle travel trade show kicked off late last week in Fort Lauderdale with an evening gala on the beach on the site of what will soon be a Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville hotel and restaurant complex in Hollywood (opening 2014). Canada, as usual, was represented a strong delegation of media and tour operator buyers, including WestJet, Sunwing and Thomas Cook. The show moved onto the floor of the Fort Lauderdale Convention Centre over the weekend, with meetings taking place that will help shape the look of next winter’s Florida tour programs. Fort Lauderdale CVB vice president Alfredo Gonzalez opened the show, extolling the city and its huge growth in recent years, particularly in hotel, airport and cruise port infrastructure. “We’re not just a stop between Miami and the ‘city in the north’ anymore,” he quipped, adding, “Our goal is not just to be a second home for Canadians in the winter, but a destination for everyone all year round.”