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Tourism industry battles 'misperceptions' left by Hurricane Ian

Visit Florida

Visit Florida is set to move into the final phase of a $5 million marketing effort aimed at offsetting “negative” impressions the tourism marketing agency says were created by media coverage of Hurricane Ian.

Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young said the effort’s third phase, expected to run through June, is narrowly focused on the five Southwest Florida counties — Lee, Collier, Hardee, DeSoto and Charlotte - most impacted by the deadly Category 4 storm, which made landfall Sept. 28 in the region.

We have to correct the misperceptions that people have that Florida was completely destroyed,” Young told the Visit Florida Board of Directors during a meeting at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.

Last week, Young told members of the agency’s executive committee that Ian resulted in $165 million in “negative” media in the three weeks after the storm.

The public-private agency has $1 million going into the final phase of the campaign. The post-storm marketing effort started Oct. 8 with a focus on 15 areas of the state not directly affected by Ian.

Images of people enjoying the areas were intended to dispel the impression that the entire state was impacted by Ian, Young said.

The initial ads ran for a month on digital and social media platforms, targeted at viewers in New York, Boston, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., Detroit, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Cleveland, St. Louis and Nashville, Tenn.

The second phase narrowed marketing to 19 counties designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as impacted by Ian.

News Service of Florida