Orlando launches first tourism ad campaign since pandemic

FILE - In this Dec. 21, 2020 file photo, crowds line Main Street USA, with Cinderella Castle on the horizon, to watch characters parade at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Teamsters local that represents workers who play characters at Walt Disney World was taken over almost two years ago by its parent union, which cited “deficiencies" in the local's leadership following repeated complaints of mismanagement from members. Now a former officer of Local 385 is suing the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, claiming the takeover has lasted too long.

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Tourism officials in Orlando are launching their first full-scale marketing campaign since the pandemic, and it's aimed at tourists located within driving distance in the southeast U.S.

The $2.2 million advertising campaign launched this month is targeted for spring and summer travel to potential visitors living in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

The campaign, called “The Wonder Remains," includes TV ads, YouTube videos, digital ads, social media ads, e-newsletters and website content.

“It’s critical that we connect with audiences that are currently making travel plans to ensure our share of the market and showcase the innovative safety measures implemented throughout Orlando," said Casandra Matej, president and CEO of Visit Orlando.

Along with highlighting Orlando's theme parks and restaurants, the campaign emphasizes the safety measures that have been taken at its tourist attractions to protect tourists from the new coronavirus.

“The Central Florida region has gone above and beyond to create a safe and sanitized guest experience,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. “I believe this campaign will reach individuals who are prepared to travel to a well-prepared destination for much needed recreation."

Before the start of the pandemic almost a year ago, Orlando was the most visited tourist destination in the U.S., attracting 75 million visitors in 2018.

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