By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The need for beach closures this July 4th weekend is leading to a big setback in the effort to restart South Florida’s tourism industry.

In fact, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau’s well-produced commercials designed to lure visitors here are being stopped, again.

“In light of what is going on with the re-closure of our beaches this weekend, which is one of our key assets, we have paused our paid media strategy,” said GMCVB CEO Rolando Aedo.

With bars shuttered and beaches closed, from Key West to Palm Beach County, the visitor’s bureau dialed back paid media.

“The bureau has built into [the Miami Shine campaign] the ability, and the nimbleness, to kind of turn on and turn off, lower or increase the volume of some of our program,” a tourism official told CBS4’s Hank Tester.

Keys tourism officials are also pausing their paid commercials.

“It is the paid advertising that is suspended and we are going to take a look at it again in 10 days or so,” said Andy Newman of Newman & Associates.

Tourism efforts are still up on social media and road-side signage, with messaging focused on coronavirus safety.

“We already have a lot of people already booked for the weekend and we did not want to over burden the Florida Keys,” Newman said.

All this promotion but no beaches is a problem for tourism promoters.

“By the way the problem is not with the tourism officials. The problem is the leadership or lack of leaders at the higher level so the tourism officials don’t know how to respond,” said branding expert Bruce Terkel. “They want to attract, they have to stop people they want to bring them and then stop them it is very difficult situation for them to deal with.”

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