Visit Florida, How I Can Help

Visit Florida. An organization under fire. Some in Tallahassee want to do away with it. Others, like Governor Rick Scott want to keep it. No one asked, but here’s my three-tier plan to fix it and keep those sweet, sweet tourism dollars pouring in.

Also, this serves as my cover letter for the top job there. You’re on notice whoever is in charge!

Celebrity Endorsements

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Another idea: A fleet of cars shaped like Florida crisscrossing Canada. Inside, warmth and a mini outlet mall.

First there was the Pitbull blowup. That cost a bunch of people their jobs at Visit Florida. Then the Emeril embroilment and some other questionable deals added to the calls for the agency’s end.

Who is the victim in all this? Us! We’re left not knowing who they would overpay next.

I’m not a fan of celebrity endorsements, but if I was given the honor of leading whatever’s left of Visit Florida, here’s who I would overpay:

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda. And overpay we would. But just one song. Maybe one rhyme? A jingle?
  • Ted Nugent. Manatees are back in a big way. An Animal Planet show about bow hunting manatees touting the Sunshine State as a hunter’s paradise.
  • Alan Thicke. I know he just passed away, but a Weekend at Bernie’s type of thing to promote weekends on the gulf coast.

Holidays

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Another idea: More corporate sponsors. For thunderstorms? Yes!

Visit Florida ran a campaign last year touting the central Florida area as the world’s capital for Halloween. With Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights, Disney’s Not-So-Scary Halloween, and other events/destinations, this is an obvious choice for a campaign.

As usual, they didn’t go far enough. There are literally dozens of other celebrations, festivals, and religious observances Florida should be known for, and I’m the person to lead us to this holiday haven.

  • Trees? We have a ton of them, celebrate Arbor Day in Ocala National Forest while camping.
  • We can schedule algae blooms around St. Patrick’s Day every year. That’s good inland and at all the beaches.
  • We can also look at stealing days from other states. Both Nevada and Alaska have eponymous days in October. Offer a discount to have their residents visit Florida (pun intended) on those days.

Mudslinging

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Another idea: Spring training in the fall. Also, other sports like curling.

Let’s face it, comparing Florida to other states doesn’t work. We say we have beaches. Tennessee says it has mountains. New York has a number of different buildings from what I understand. And we just keep going round and round. How are people supposed to decide?

What if we treated the whole thing like an election. The consumer, the tourist, the visitor is voting for a state, right? Let’s get fake newsing. Sample headlines I would run:

  • Sewer Alligators Rampaging in New York
  • Leaked Emails Show Las Vegas Casinos Fix Games
  • New Report Shows California Tops List of Most “Stabby” States
  • Everyone Agrees The Only Safe Place Left: Florida

Additional Qualifications

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Why me? Well, I have both Weekied and Wacheed. That sounds weird out loud.

Why should I lead Visit Florida? Why not?

  • I have lived in Florida for over 43 years, in two parts (Ormond Beach and Orlando).
  • I have visited several of the state’s coasts, both ends, and many of its theme parks.
  • I worked in gift shops growing up, so I know tourists.
  • I am Canadian, so I know that market well.
  • I have all my own teeth.
  • I am a fierce negotiator. Go ahead, ask me for $1 million to record a song. I dare you.

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