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Monday,  July 22, 2024   4:12 PM
Kissimmee showcases product to Canadian partners

Just as Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that the state has set another record in tourism numbers, Experience Kissimmee was paying a visit to Canadian partners in Ontario and Quebec.

Along with DT Minich, the tourism office's President and CEO, various partners from the region were on hand to showcase the destination's diverse product portfolio, including Fun Spot America, Ramada Gateway Hotel, CND Holiday Homes and Westgate Towers Resort.

DT Minich, president & CEO, Experience Kissimmee"We [are] unique in that we can offer the man-made, world-famous theme parks but we can also offer the true Florida experience," Minich told guests at a VIP luncheon. "We do have something for everyone, and it's really great to be able to enjoy the parks one day and the next day, do a kayaking trip or an airboat trip to learn about the ecological side of Florida."

Kissimmee welcomes more than 500,000 Canadians on an annual basis, the majority of whom are visiting from Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces. This represents a large portion of total visitor arrivals from the Great White North, as most recent figures show that roughly 1.7 million of the 28.4 million visitors to Florida in the first quarter of 2015 were Canadian, an increase of 1.2 per cent over the same period last year.

A new destination magazine has been released to hone into the ever-growing interest from international markets, bringing Kissimmee's breadth and depth of product to the forefront. In an effort to inspire more visitation, the publication is a compilation of travel stories, perspectives from tourism leaders in the region and quirky travel tips, appealing to the tastes of a diverse demographic, from millennials to baby boomers.

Nori Rodriguez, public relations representative for the tourism office, spoke to PAX about what people can look forward to in the coming months, first pointing out that the World Food Championships will be taking place in Kissimmee this year. Interestingly, there is a local tie-in, as Canada is hosting its own food championships in Edmonton this July, from which the winners will move on to compete in the Kissimmee event. 

At the same time, Epcot at Disney will be hosting its International Food & Wine Festival from early September to mid-November.

Expanding on attractions that may woo prospective travellers outside of the theme park world, the new Orlando Eye Ferris Wheel and the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park, an obstacle course in the trees, are both now open for business.

In regards to trends, Rodriguez said that multi-generational travel is prominent in Kissimmee, as guests take advantage of not only the broad selection of activities but also the accommodations available to host large parties. In fact, Kissimmee regularly ranks at the top of vacation home rental destinations favoured by travellers from around the country. 

PHOTO: DT Minich, Experience Kissimmee; Danielle Dunn, Experience Kissimmee; Rossy Valerio, Westgate Towers Resort; Kathleen Glace, CND Holiday Homes; Allyssa Anderson, Fun Spot America; Nori Rodriguez, Experience Kissimmee; Andrew Ricketts, VoX International; Andrew Schiavone, Ramada Gateway Hotel; & Cari Marotta, VoX International.

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