Discover Palm Beach County and VISIT FLORIDA Host Sold-out Florida Huddle 2014
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Discover Palm Beach County and Visit Florida Host Sold-Out Florida Huddle 2014
THE PALM BEACHES, Fla. (January 28, 2014) - Discover Palm Beach County (DPBC) hosted Florida Huddle 2014, Florida's foremost travel trade event. In its first year of being owned and operated by VISIT FLORIDA, the sold-out show welcomed travel suppliers from across the state to meet with 619 delegates representing 345 companies from around the world. The Florida Huddle event itself produced more than 1,000 room nights and supported 310 jobs in Palm Beach County, generating an estimated total economic impact of $900,000.
"The opportunity to host Florida Huddle was a true privilege for our destination, which is why so many of our tourism partners throughout The Palm Beaches went above and beyond to ensure that the Huddle delegates experienced the time of their lives during their stay," said Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of Discover Palm Beach County. "We are grateful to our friends at VISIT FLORIDA for selecting us as the very first destination to host this prestigious event since they took ownership, and are thrilled to have been a part of something that so significantly benefits Florida's tourism industry."Discover Palm Beach County worked with more than 50 local partners, gathering support from participating Palm Beach County hotels, attractions, restaurants and cultural sponsors during the week's events. The sold-out show filled four local hotels including Marriott West Palm Beach, Hyatt Place Downtown, The Breakers Palm Beach and Courtyard by Marriott West Palm Beach Airport. The opening night and closing night events at The Breakers Palm Beach and Downtown West Palm Beach Waterfront Pavilion allowed DPBC to showcase some of the destination's best assets. Guests, including state, county and city dignitaries, were surprised with festivities,
food, flash mobs and fireworks. Additionally, DPBC hosted a media breakfast at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, sponsored by the International Polo Club, followed by several landmark tours to highlight the destination to the nearly 40 international trade media in attendance.
"The impact of Florida Huddle is greatly related to the excellent timing of this show, which occurred immediately prior to the tour planning and packaging season," said Doug McLain, Senior Vice President of Global Sales at DPBC. "These attendees will now package and promote The Palm Beaches to tens of thousands of retail travel agencies and networks throughout the world, making Florida Huddle exponentially impactful to The Palm Beaches."
The bustling trade-show floor in the Palm Beach County Convention Center exhibited 177 Florida travel companies, represented by 190 delegates presenting information about their destinations, products and services. As the show's host destination, DPBC also provide dextensive tours of local resorts, restaurants and attractions to delegates and media, as well as destination reviews prior to and following the trade show.
Florida Huddle business transactions took place for two full days, allowing buyers, suppliers and media to conduct 10,702 face-to-face meetings. The average number of appointments per delegate grew to 41, compared with 27 in prior years, vastly expanding opportunities to transact business. Twenty-nine top travel trade publications were present to cover the show and to amplify awareness of Florida travel opportunities to audiences in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Belgium,Argentina, Venezuela and Costa Rica.
"With more than 600 attendees from 22 countries conducting over 10,000 one-on-one appointments, Florida Huddle 2014 was a huge success," said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. "Relationship building events that allow buyers and suppliers to have pre-arranged, face-to-face appointments are a vital component of the Florida tourism industry's marketing efforts. Having Florida Huddle as a VISIT FLORIDA owned and operated event has proven to be a great way to add value for our Partners and offer first-hand information to travel trade professionals from around the globe."DPBC is now gearing up to host the next Visit Florida event, the Florida Governor's Conference on Tourism, which will be held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club from September 22 - 24, 2014.
About Discover Palm Beach County
Discover Palm Beach County, formerly the Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 38 cities and towns and 15 tourism districts in Palm Beach County, commonly referred to as The Palm Beaches Florida. Tourism is among Palm Beach County's major industries generating an annual economic impact of more than $5 billion in the local economy, producing $30 million dollars in bed-tax revenue, lodging sales of approximately $623 million, and supporting 45,000 jobs.
About VISIT FLORIDAAs the Sunshine State's No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 91.5 million visitors in 2012 who spent $71.8 billion, generating 23 percent of the state's sales tax revenue and employing more than 1 million Floridians. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including 2,700 invested Partners, 9,200 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando.