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Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau unveils marketing initiatives

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau announces travel and tourism records and unveils marketing initiatives in support of strategic plan at annual meeting.

MIAMI - At the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau's (GMCVB) Annual Meeting, its staff and 500 of its partners learned that the destination's Travel & Tourism Industry is on target for another record year including welcoming more than 14.1 million overnight visitors. Setting its sights on the future, the GMCVB presented its new five-year Strategic Plan, Destination Miami, resulting from a year-long study taking a comprehensive look at the Travel & Tourism Industry in Greater Miami and the Beaches commissioned by the GMCVB. Five key recommendations were presented including the unveiling of two marketing initiatives in support of the findings: the new and the expanded It's So Miami (ISM) campaign.  

In addition to record overnight visitors in the past 12 months, the GMCVB announced a record $22.3 billion in visitor expenditures, representing a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year. Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) set a new record with double digit growth of 10 percent during the same period. Accommodations and Food Service Jobs reached a record 122,000, representing a 4 percent increase over the previous year and 44 months of consecutive job increases.

"With multiple years of record breaking tourism numbers, we've welcomed more visitors from all corners of the globe to our destination than ever before," said GMCVB Chair Steven Haas. "It's exciting to share another year of records with our partners knowing that we are supporting and growing jobs for the community."

"Destination Miami" Strategic Plan
After five town-hall meetings, hundreds of stakeholder interviews, surveying through a dedicated website ( and in-depth study of the Travel & tourism industry for the destination, five strategic recommendations make up part of the Destination Miami strategic plan:

Miami Beach Convention Center & Headquarter Hotel: The GMCVB reiterated its commitment to supporting the plan for a state-of-the-art Miami Beach Convention Center and headquarter hotel in order to remain competitive in attracting more meetings and conventions and making way for increased economic impact. A scale model of the project was on display at the meeting.

Improve Taxi Cab Experience: A taxi cab ride is often the first customer service experience a tourist encounters during their visit. The Strategic Plan confirmed that lack of regulation and technology offerings such as credit card processing ability hinder the visitor experience. Six ordinances have been recommended by Miami-Dade County Commissioners and are supported by the GMCVB: regulation enforcement, credit card processing availability at airport and sea port, ambassador cab program and establishing digital dispatch programs.

Overall Customer Service & Experience: The customer service experience begins the moment a visitor arrives in the destination and as such the GMCVB is committed to leading efforts to improve that experience by creating enhanced special training programs for the hospitality industry. The GMCVB will begin by expanding the Miami Begins with Me (MBWM) program, an industry and consumer campaign educating the local community that "Tourism Is Everybody's Business." The GMCVB also announced that discussions are under way to create a new Customer Service Academy at Miami International Airport, as well as build on the success of the MIA Ambassador program.

Marketing - Expand International Sales and Marketing Efforts & Target Niches Domestically: Greater Miami and the Beaches continues to be a leading global gateway and welcomes the highest percentage of international visitors of any other destination in the country. In support of the Strategic Plan findings, the GMCVB will continue to expand its global network with dedicated marketing offices in major and emerging global markets. Increased international efforts are also made possible through leveraged relationships with key industry organizations such as BrandUSA and Visit Florida. On the domestic front, efforts will be geared on US feeder markets and strong focus on Cultural and Heritage tourism. A new Heritage neighborhood publication is in the works to provide visitors with rich and historic insight into Miami's diverse and culturally dense neighborhoods.

Expand Digital Sales and Marketing Programs: Consumer behavior and decision-making continues to be greatly influenced by digital media platforms, especially when making travel decisions. The GMCVB is embarking on digital innovation through several of its marketing platforms including advertising, public relations and industry/trade relations. As part of this important recommendation, the GMCVB unveiled the new destination website

The New, now officially launched, is the ideal resource for consumers to "one stop shop" the destination. Highlights include:
  • Inspiration: Editorial style content that tells stories about experiences in the destination brings Miami and the Beaches to life. Featured articles and digital assets create a movie in consumers' minds allowing them to plan what their visit will be like before they travel.
  • Go Native: Who better to help you plan a customized experience in Greater Miami and the Beaches than the insiders that live there? Launched on the GMCVB Facebook page, the popular "Go Native" guides to the destination now populate the new website. Content from local influencers gives visitors information on where to Eat, Play, Shop and Party – think packing lists, best brunch spots and more!
  • Meeting Planners Resource: The Meeting Planner's section of the website now includes detailed meeting venue, transportation and sight-seeing tour information in addition to group special offers, green convention options and access to a Meeting Planner Guide.
  • Don't Stop the Press! Stuck for story ideas or need to dig deeper into the facts about the destination? A bank of fresh angles and a weekly newsletter will help any journalist or blogger learn more. Need stats on visitor numbers and jobs or thinking about filing a story on romantic getaways, family fun, the LGBT and nightlife scenes or heritage and art The press room is the place to start.
Also planned to come online shortly:
  • We Speak Your Language: As Greater Miami and the Beaches welcomes the highest percentage of international visitors of any other US destination, being able to communicate with those travelers is paramount. Multi-lingual sites will launch in Spanish, Portuguese, German, French and Italian, catering to major global markets for Miami and the Beaches.
  • Native Language Videos: More than 50 video guides explore every corner of the destination from the most iconic spots like South Beach and Joe's Stone Crab to more hidden gems like Little Havana's Versailles to the Robert Is Here Fruit Stand as you approach the Everglades.
  • Browsing to Buying: A booking tool with access to more than 150 of the destination's hotels will be added to provide those researching accommodations the option to view real-time pricing and instantly make reservations.
  • Mobile: On-the-go access to the full site will be easy with a new dedicated mobile website, as well as new Android and iPhone applications.
Places and People – It's So Miami (ISM)
The highly successful ISM campaign launched in summer of 2012 and featured eye-catching imagery showcasing contrasting visuals of iconic destination scenes juxtaposed with unique Miami moments. The campaign, designed to capture the vibe and variety of everyday life in Miami and the Beaches is now transitioning to bring to life the essence and assets of the many Heritage neighborhoods and Miami lifestyle offerings through the eyes and expertise of Miami locals.

Neighborhoods like Little Havana, Overtown, Little Haiti, Brickell, Downtown, The Design District, Wynwood, Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, South Dade and The Everglades will be featured under the context of "Places and People," a strategy where by locals take the consumers through the neighborhoods allowing for an insider's perspective and expertise to guide the user's experience.

The campaign's first wave launches in January and will entail a local-wide search for Miami experts who are interested in serving as Miami local tastemakers. The local search will identify "in-the-know" Miamians with strong social media following to guide locals and visitors alike through some of Miami's most iconic Heritage neighborhoods and their many offerings. Interested candidates will have their chance to register for the opportunity to be selected among this elite group of local experts via the new website

The second-phase to launch summer of 2014 will feature the selected Miami insiders in content rich articles, on-line videos and digital advertising. Consumers will have the opportunity to explore the destination through the eyes of local experts and from the convenience of their computer as they plan their trip to Miami and the Beaches. The Miami local voices will also provide first-hand insider tips on everything from dining, tours, attractions, shopping, nightlife and live entertainment.  

"The Destination Miami Strategic Plan sets the key initiatives and priorities for our organization," says GMCVB President and CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME "We are proud to unveil these key initiatives today. This marks only the beginning of the GMCVB's efforts in support of the Destination Miami Strategic Plan."

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