21 JAN 2019: VISIT FLORIDA spread a little sunshine on a dreary day in Toronto last week (Jan. 15) with a Union Station “takeover,” complete with wrapped subway train, all designed to get Canadian consumers dreaming about (and booking) a holiday to the Sunshine State.

Copious amounts of advertising around the station ensured the “Moments of Sunshine” campaign message would not be missed and an innovative booth with holographic technology helped transport onlookers get as close as possible to the southern US destination as they could be while still in the bowels of the city transit system.

Tourist board execs and representatives of close to a dozen CVBs covering the full breadth of the state were also on hand for the event and later to meet the media to spread the latest news on their destinations. Included in the group were: Amelia Island, Daytona, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers/Sanibel, the Keys, Pensacola, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, Ocala, Sarasota, SeaWorld and Tampa.

Noting that 40 percent of all Canadians who visit Florida do so from January to April, VISIT FLORIDA interim chief marketing officer Staci Mellman said the timing of the Toronto mission and campaign launch was ideal. She also revealed that Canada continues to set arrivals records to the state, with 3.4 million visitations in 2017 and 2.4 million through the first eight months of 2018.

“Canadians are very important to us,” Mellman not surprisingly said, adding that Canada is Florida’s No. 1 international market. “But we can’t take that success for granted. That’s why we’re here,” she continued.

Beyond delivering a little slice of Florida to Union Station, the Moments of Sunshine campaign has been made actionable with discounts of up to 20 percent off approximately 100 flight, hotel, car and attraction deals available on Expedia (www.loveflorida.com).

But Mellman was also quick to add: “This campaign is not about deals. It’s about showcasing Florida’s diversity and experiences.”

And that, more so than the daily commute to work, can be quite a ride, said VISIT FLORIDA.

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Michael Baginski

Editor at Large, Mike Baginski is well known and well respected within the industry across Canada, the US, in the Caribbean, Mexico and numerous other destinations outside North America.

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