03 NOV 2017: Florida Governor Rick Scott along with the new president and CEO of Visit Florida, Ken Lawson, were in Toronto this week to announce a new promotional programme called 'Canadian Power Play' which aims to increase Canadian visitation to the State by aiming directly at Canadian pocket books.

In the new travel discount campaign which officially kicked off on Wednesday Canadians travelling to the Sunshine State this winter can expect travel deals with 20 percent discounts from Visit Florida partners.

“I’m proud to announce the Canadian Power Play Programme, which will help make it more affordable for Canadians to travel to Florida. With discounts on flights, car rentals and travel accommodations, more Canadians will be able to enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer,” Scott said at an official press conference held at Toronto’s Union Station amid a new digital ad campaign aimed over the next few weeks at busy commuters.

During the press conference, the Florida Governor addressed the quick clean-up efforts undertaken immediately after this year’s hurricane season.

“Our state is clearly back up for business,” he explained, noting the hurricanes impact affected a small part of the Florida Keys.

“We are very fortunate. The power got back quickly, our beaches are nice, our amusement parks are open, our restaurants are open and our state parks are open. We want everybody to come down.”

Lawson, who was appointed president and CEO of Visit Florida earlier this year, relayed how important Canadian visitors are to Florida.

“The programme is about showing our love from Florida to Canada, ensuring that Canadians know that Florida cares about our Canadian tourists,” he told Travel Industry Today.

The programme, Lawson further noted, is designed to bring equity between the currency disparities due to the low Canadian dollar versus the US currency.

“With these deals it will equalize it,” he said on the cost savings.

Air Canada Vacations is the official tour operator providing up to 25 percent discounts on Florida vacations while both Dollar Car Rental Exclusive and Air Canada are offering exclusive air and car rental discounts which include 20 percent off car rentals and $40 off air bookings. Flights need to be booked by November 3.

The state reports Canada as its number one international tourist market.  This year, Florida will welcome 120 million tourists, including three million Canadians as the Governor joked that 40 million Canadian visitors would be better.

“The whole goal is that we want everybody in Canada to come to our great state,” he said, “We just want 100 percent of Canadians to come down at least once a year.”

Scott was in Toronto with Lawson as part of his ongoing tourism and trade mission to Canada.

Canadian visitation to Florida has declined in recent years and this programme directly addresses concerns by Canadian families regarding the current exchange rate between the US and Canada.

For the Canadian Power Play Programme see www.LoveFlorida.ca

For more Visit Florida corporate news see SunshineMatters.org

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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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