2021 Florida Tourism Industry Awards announced

Yesterday, VISIT FLORIDA announced the recipients of the 2021 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame and Flagler Awards during the annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Each year, leaders in Florida tourism are chosen by selection committees to receive these prestigious awards.

Florida Tourism Hall of Fame

Since 2001, individuals have been chosen annually to be inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame. This honor, presented by the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, recognizes contemporary and historic figures whose vision, creativity and drive have had a positive and significant impact on the development of Florida as a desirable visitor destination.

The 2021 Florida Tourism Hall of Fame inductee is William D. Talbert, III, CDME. For more than three decades, Mr. Talbert has distinguished himself as a highly respected industry and community leader, serving as President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) for the past twenty years, and Chief Operating Officer for the prior nine. Throughout his tenure, the GMCVB has consistently posted record-breaking growth, helping welcome 29.4 million visitors in 2019 that generated an economic impact of nearly $18 billion and 146,800 jobs.

Other major accomplishments include assisting with the passage of the United States Travel Promotion Act and the Miami-Dade County Food & Beverage Tax, as well as preparing five successful Super Bowl bids, and four U.S. Travel Association Pow Wow bids. He also helped secure a $620 million renovation for the Miami Beach Convention Center, and the establishment of the Black Hospitality Initiative of Greater Miami. Mr. Talbert’s experience, expertise, and dedication have been essential to the success of Florida’s tourism industry, and continue to make a positive impact on travelers from all over the world.

“Florida’s enduring popularity would not be possible without the outstanding individuals who have helped shape the Sunshine State vacation experience as we know it today. William Talbert’s contributions have been foundational to the success of our industry, and we are proud to induct him into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame. Congratulations to Bill on this well-deserved win.” – Dana Young, President and CEO, VISIT FLORIDA

“On behalf of the entire VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, I am honored to formally induct William Talbert into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame. I have personally worked with Bill for over a decade, and his unparalleled knowledge and experience have made him an asset to all sectors of Florida’s tourism industry. Bill’s legacy is an incredible addition to the Hall of Fame, and we are thrilled to welcome him to this esteemed group of industry superstars.” – Danny Gaekwad, Owner, MGM Hotels, LLC, Chair of VISIT FLORIDA’s Board of Directors

For more information about the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame, click here.

Flagler Awards

Named for Henry Flagler, the Flagler Awards were established in 2000 to recognize outstanding tourism marketing in Florida. Annually, the Flagler Awards honor many of the countless individuals and organizations that help maintain and improve Florida’s position as one of the world’s most popular travel destinations. The awards are open to all individuals, private businesses and not-for-profit organizations offering a product or service that promotes tourism to or within the state of Florida.

As in previous years, the 2021 Flagler Awards drew entries from Florida’s tourism partners, large and small. Working independently, a panel of judges evaluated the creativity, innovation, production quality, and effectiveness of each entry. Based on the judges’ cumulative scores, awards were presented to the top three entries in each category: the Bronze Award for the third highest scoring entry, the Silver Award for the second highest scoring entry, and for the highest scoring entry in each category, the Henry Award. The 2021 Flagler Award winners in 18 categories, plus Best in Show at three budget levels, are listed below.

Creativity in Public Relations

Bronze: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Black History Month Virtual Fam Tour on Amelia Island

Silver: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for Shellcast, The Podcast That’s a Beach Break for Your Ears

Henry: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater for St. Pete Pier Brought to Life with Virtual Media Tour

Direct Marketing

Bronze: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for Amelia Island Email Optimization

Silver: Destin-Fort Walton Beach for Adventure Anywhere

Henry: The Florida Keys & Key West for the Florida Keys Covid-19 Email Campaign

Internet Advertising

Bronze: The Treasure Coast for the Don’t Come Here Campaign

Silver: Destin-Fort Walton Beach for Venture Out

Henry: ZooTampa at Lowry Park for DINOS Alive – Digital Ads

Mixed Media Campaign

Bronze: Visit South Walton for Virtual Beach Vibes

Silver: ZooTampa at Lowry Park for the DINOS Alive – Campaign

Henry: Destin-Fort Walton Beach for Adventure Anywhere + Venture Out

Mobile Marketing

Bronze: The Florida Keys & Key West for Florida Keys – Mobile In-County Safety Messaging

Silver: Visit Pensacola for the Visit Pensacola Holiday Trail App Promotion

Henry: Destin-Fort Walton Beach for Adventure Anywhere

Niche Marketing

Bronze: The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB for the “Only Paradise Will Do” Eco Tourism Campaign

Silver: The Florida Keys & Key West for the Florida Keys Diving and Snorkeling Campaign

Henry: The Martin County Office of Tourism for Fish Like A Local

Out-of-Home

Bronze: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Amelia Island Innovative Outdoor Displays During the Pandemic

Silver: The Florida Keys & Key West for Key West Billboard – We’ve never been more open.

Henry: ZooTampa at Lowry Park for DINOS Alive Out-of-Home

Print Advertising

Bronze: Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau for Cooking Up a Culinary Campaign

Silver: The Santa Rosa Tourist Development Office for Open Air Fun Campaign- VISIT FLORIDA Vacation Guide

Henry: The Florida Keys & Key West for Florida Keys Print – COVID-19 Phases

Radio Advertising

Bronze: ZooTampa at Lowry Park for Creatures of the Night – Radio

Silver: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Amelia Island Escape Podcast

Henry: The Florida Keys & Key West for Florida Keys Direct Flight Pandora Campaign

Resource/Promotional Material – Consumer

Bronze: AMI Beach Weddings for the Anna Maria Island Weddings Magazine

Silver: Visit St. Pete/Clearwater for the Visit St. Pete/Clearwater Gulf to Bay Magazine

Henry: Experience Florida’s Sports Coast for Sports Coast Pilsner

Resource/Promotional Material – Trade

Bronze: Discover Crystal River Florida for Discover Crystal River Virtual FAM Tour Video

Silver: The Florida Keys & Key West for the Florida Keys – Key Lime Academy Promotion

Henry: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Meet Amelia Island – Meetings Campaign

Rural County Marketing

Bronze: Visit Sebring for the Sebring Area GeoTour: Florida’s Hidden Gem

Silver: The Gulf County Tourist Development Council for Wade In, COVID-19 Recovery

The Henry: The Franklin County Tourist Development Council for the Forgotten Coast Mobile App

Social Media Marketing

Bronze: The Island by Hotel RL for the Mermaid Tails Video Series

Silver: The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel for Beach Ready Spirit Week

Henry: The Martin County Office of Tourism for Moments of Escape

Special Event

Bronze: Visit Sarasota County for Savor Sarasota Restaurant Week

Silver: The City of West Palm Beach for the West Palm Beach GreenMarket

Henry: Visit Panama City Beach for the Pirates of the High Seas Virtual Fest

Sustainable Tourism Marketing

Bronze: The Loggerhead Marinelife Center for Sea Turtle Nesting Season at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

Silver: The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for Love It Like a Local

Henry: The Florida Keys & Key West for Florida Keys: Protecting Paradise

Television Advertising

Bronze: The Bradenton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for Love It Like a Local Television

Silver: The Florida Keys & Key West for Florida Keys Television

Henry: Destin-Fort Walton Beach for Venture Out

Tourism Advocacy

Bronze: Destinations Florida for the Valentine’s Day Card Campaign

Bronze: Visit Lauderdale for the Visit Lauderdale Brand Reveal

Silver: Visit Central Florida for Be 5weet

Henry: The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Local Tourism Impact Campaign

Websites

Bronze: The Wynwood Business Improvement District for WynwoodMiami.com

Silver: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Relaunch of AmeliaIsland.com

Henry: AMI Beach Weddings for AMIBeachWeddings.com

Best of Show

Annual marketing budget less than $500,000: The West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority for the Cool Craft Beverage Trail

Annual marketing budget between $500,000 ‐ $2 million: The Martin County Office of Tourism for Fish Like A Local

Annual marketing budget greater than $2 million: The Florida Keys & Key West for the Florida Keys Diving and Snorkeling Campaign

For more information about the Flagler Awards, click here.

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