September 24, 2003
As a tourist destination, Florida has many strong assets. First, it offers a variety of attractions that caters to everyone. Below is a list of attractions available for people with different interests: • Cultural Events – festivals, fairs, carnivals
• Cultural Places – antiques, art galleries, art centers, missions • Family & Friends – amusement and theme parks, malls, markets, shops, sightseeing tours and cruises, aquariums, zoos, wildlife sanctuaries • Historical Places – memorials, monuments, museums • Nature – beaches, gardens, lakes, keys, nature trails, scenic drives, state and national parks • Sport – sport events and venues
Second, Florida offers a mild climate all year round. Florida’s weather can be categorized as either warm or hot. During winter period, the temperature ranges from the middle 60s to the middle 70s during the day. During summer period, the temperature ranges from the middle 80s to the middle 90s during the day. Florida’s mild climate makes it an ideal place for outdoor activities. Third, Florida’s geographic location offers many opportunities for outdoor activities. Florida has about 1,000 miles of coastlines for the beach lovers. Florida also has many lakes for the camping enthusiasts. Last, Florida’s geographic location (Gulf of Mexico on the west and Atlantic Ocean on the east) makes it an ideal docking place for cruise ships going to the Caribbean and Mexico. Fourth, Florida is easily accessible by car, airplanes, and boats. Florida has three major interstate highways (I-10, I-95, and I-70) and five major international airports (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, and St. Petersburg-Clearwater). Furthermore, Florida has many restaurants and lodgings to make the visitors stay comfortable and convenient. Weakness
Florida’s main weakness comes in the way people perceived the state. Some people perceived Florida as being unsafe, old and familiar, and expensive. According to the ranking (in terms of crime) of America’s safest and worst cities, not a single city from Florida made the top 25 safest cities in America. However, three of Florida’s cities made the top 25 worst cities list: #9 Tampa, #20 West Palm Beach, and #21 Miami (www.morganquitmo.com/safcity.htm). Florida also suffers from the perception as being old and familiar. Studies show that visitors from Canada are declining. Canada is one of top three origin markets for international visitors in year 2002 (www.visitflorida.org). In 1992, Florida welcomed 2.46 million Canadian visitors; in 1998, the number of Canadian visitors decreased to 1.72 million (Smith, 2000). One of the reasons for the decrease in numbers is that more Canadians are looking for a vacation destination that is more exotic, like Cancun – Mexico. These Canadian visitors are also attracted to Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Las Vegas, Caribbean, and Mexico which aggressively market themselves through affordable all-inclusive vacation. Although Canadian visitors are only 2% of the total number of visitors in year 2002 (www.visitflorida.org), their average length of stay is about 21 nights (compared to about 5 nights for domestic visitors). Florida should definitely promote themselves more aggressively to the Canadian market in order to boost their tourism revenue. Opportunity
There are some opportunities that Florida should consider in order to boost their number of visitors. To reduce the fear of terrorism, Florida should promote themselves as a familiar destination. Terrorism raises our feeling of uncertainties. Going to a familiar place may alleviate most of these uncertain feelings. Florida should also take advantage of their large spanish-speaking population by promoting themselves...