WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The post-pandemic travel boom is an encouraging sign that South Florida’s fragile tourism industry is recovering.
"Travel overall has really picked up," said Laura Reece, owner of Reece Worldwide Travel. "People are asking to go everywhere all across the United States."
This week, a new report released by Destinations International is giving travel leaders across the country more insight about what a long-term recovery plan could look like.
Destinations International is a resource for convention and visitor bureaus and destination organization worldwide.
The report highlighted the following key strategies:
- Enhance engagement with the local community to manage considerations for the visitor economy
- Build the destination brand around the community's goals, values and creative energy
- Better integrate tourism, economic development and talent attraction
STRATEGIC ROAD MAP🌎✈️Tourism leaders are digging deeper to find long-term solutions to sustain Florida's fragile travel industry as post-pandemic travel climbs— Linnie Supall WPTV (@LinnieSupall) July 16, 2021
New report offers a 'strategic road map' for convention and visitors bureaus worldwide to get back on track #wptv #wflx pic.twitter.com/DzjIHJ6vMq
"The future is embedded in the community and will involve the community more," said William Talbert, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. "That was the No. 1 finding that was new."
However, the concept of establishing partnerships within the community is not new to the GMCVB.
Talbert said community involvement has been a priority for the organization over the last five years.
The GMCVB has connected visitors to Miami's vibrant multicultural neighborhoods with economic development programs.
"We have a program that takes the small mom and pop or startup businesses in the neighborhoods, and helps them get on their feet," said Talbert. "We help them expand and flourish."
Capacity building is a critical component of the program, so small businesses can successfully handle the additional demand when serving a larger audience.
Talbert has served as President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau for the past 20 years and an eyewitness to South Florida's evolving travel landscape.
He believes integrating the visitor experience with the community is the ultimate foundation for success.
"We're thrilled we're in that space," said Talbert.
Talbert also said the economic development programs have been well received with more curious travelers asking to visit Miami's historic neighborhoods.
"It's very exciting," said Talbert.