Tourism promoters in Miami-Dade think it’s time for Little Havana — and Wynwood, Little Haiti, Overtown and Coconut Grove — to have their moments in the spotlight.
As part of a new marketing campaign called “It’s So Miami: People and Places,” the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is focusing on less-traveled neighborhoods as well as hidden parts of Miami Beach.
“By educating the world at large about all of these amazing neighborhoods, we will entice people to explore beyond the excitement of South Beach and even within Miami Beach,” said Rolando Aedo, the bureau’s chief marketing officer. “We’re really going to turn up the volume on our neighborhoods.”
The first in a series of advertisements, highlighting Little Havana, ran over the weekend; print and digital ads will appear in lifestyle and mainstream publications as well as on on-demand television sites.
Aedo said the organization is spending more than $500,000 to kick off the campaign, but said “the investment will far, far exceed that.” He expects the CVB, which has an advertising budget of about $5 million a year, to continue developing related content for the next 18 to 24 months.
And in a new twist, the bureau is turning to locals for help in developing the message.
Through a Facebook contest and website, SoMiamiInsider.com, that launch Wednesday, Miami insiders will have a chance to recommend favorite spots to catch a sunrise or best neighborhood spots for “strongest cafecito,” “craftiest beer” and “sweetest pie.”
The most unique local suggestion will earn a $1,000 prize, and some other tips will fetch $50.
“This is the first time that we’re in essence crowd-sourcing from our community some of the content we’ll have,” Aedo said.
“People and Places” is the next phase of the “It’s So Miami” marketing program, which was rolled out in 2012. It plays into the bureau’s goal of focusing on heritage and cultural offerings and seeks to encourage visitors to extend their stay by venturing beyond the typical tourist draws.
As part of the campaign, the bureau is partnering with local associations, organizations and cultural institutions to capture photos and videos and share the content.
J.S. Rashid, president and CEO of the Collaborative Development Corporation in Coconut Grove, said he expects the tourism bureau’s efforts to drive more visitors to the neighborhood’s historic Village West area.
“I’m really excited,” he said. “This is almost like a treasure hunt, uncovering little known treasures in Miami.”
He said that while the Grove’s Charles Avenue corridor is already traversed by tour buses, there is potential for more.
“It’s a great convergence of concepts and attention from the bureau,” he said. “We think that’s really going to enhance the tourism.”