Broward has long marketed itself as an affordable beach destination — and that’s not going to change in the upcoming year.
But, said Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau president Nicki Grossman, it’s time for that message to expand.
“We believe that we’ve made our point in terms of the beach and the weather,” she said. “I think that what people are looking for now is a travel experience.”
Grossman revealed the bureau’s marketing plan for the upcoming year to hundreds of people in the tourism industry at a luncheon Thursday. In a phone interview before the event, she said visitor numbers for the calendar year would top 12 million, nearly one million more than 2011.
On tap for the fiscal 2012-13 year, which started Oct. 1: A new “Hello Sunny” advertising program for TV, online and print; redesigned website; greater emphasis on marketing to Brazil and Germany; and expansion of efforts in the Midwest.
The bureau will also put on more of the publicity stunts that have proven successful, including “Defrost Your Swimsuit” (in which bikinis and swim trunks encased in blocks of ice are displayed in key markets) as well as the Beachmobile, a rolling beach scene.
“We’re not ready to give that up,” Grossman said. “There are places we haven’t defrosted swimsuits, and we’re going to go there.”
That includes Chicago, where the marketing blitz will go for the first time. The bureau will target the Midwest for more group and convention business.
Grossman said she expects the spending for advertising, production and media buys to hit a record $6 million in the upcoming year. The international marketing budget is increasing by $600,000.
In addition to the message of beach, weather and value, the marketing program will touch on the Florida Everglades, museums, nature and culture.
“We continue to grow and the good news is we continue to evolve,” Grossman said.