Cheryl Hatcher, director of meetings and events for Visit Florida says luxury is not only the expectation of excellence and experience in the Sunshine State; it’s also about authenticity—and Hatcher knows just how planners can capitalize on all that Florida has to offer in this area.
Prevue: Is there room for luxury in the sustainable/farm-to-table food & beverage trend?
Florida’s fusion of flavors and culinary landscape is like nowhere else in the world, and is a perfect mix for the incentive and luxury travel market. Groups are able to create their own masterpieces at restaurants that offer chef-directed instruction and other interactive programs. Wine tastings at vineyards scattered from St. Augustine to Tampa to Clermont, Fort Myers and Miami offer sampling and tours. And don’t forget the variety of craft breweries around the state offering a one-of-a-kind culinary experience that gives groups the world on a platter in the Sunshine State.
Hatcher: Do you offer any services or amenities that increase ROI or ROE for planners?
One of the many unique opportunities Florida offers in ROI and ROE is the vast array of diversity of venues, pushing the boundaries of creativity and imagination. Where else can you host a reception beneath a 6.2 million pound moon rocket, or a party at an ice lounge complete with bars, chairs and frosty works of art. How about a team building experience that showcases Florida’s natural environment at it’s best, combining animal encounters at our many zoos, zip lining over wetlands or bonding with the alligators on an airboat ride. And, of course, making magic at one of our world-class theme parks with rollercoasters, special cartoon guests or fireworks to close the evening.
How can cost-conscious planners add a sense of luxury to meetings and incentives?
In Florida, “luxury” is a term we take seriously. It is the expectation of excellence and experience, and the Sunshine State certainly delivers this. The “value-adds” are endless no matter what the budget is—a canvas so large and diverse from our 1,100 championship golf courses, superlative spas, 825 miles of beaches, unique team building activities, rich culture and gorgeous natural settings, the options are endless.