World Travel Market – Day 2
Since the launch of our campaign for international tourism and our announcement that Winter Park would be recognized on a Global stage at the World Travel Market (WTM), we’ve been asked, “Why wouldn’t you focus on the US Travel Market before going global?”
The answer is simple and fundamental to any good marketing campaign: it is where the growth potential lies. Since we began tracking the origins of our visitors to Winter Park this summer, we learned that the potential for attracting international visitors was growing. Today, our analysis of this data collection was reaffirmed, with even stronger insights.
I had the pleasure of attending this afternoon the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and WTM Ministers Summit titled, “Overtourism: growth is not the enemy, it is how we manage it.”
This topic is of particular importance to Winter Park as we build a tourism strategy. As I listened to the Secretary General of the UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, speak to the importance of international travel, I was reassured that we are on the right track.
According to Rifai, one out of six people in the world has made an international trip in the past year – and 1.3 billion international travelers will increase to 1.8 billion international travelers by 2030. With over 500 million new travelers, a small percentage could mean a meaningful impact for Winter Park.
Promoting tourism in Winter Park has never been, and will never be, a volume proposition. The size and scale of our community are part of what makes it great, and we want all of our efforts to promote tourism to respect our very special place in central Florida.
Today we met with bloggers, influencers, tour operators, and travel agents who can help connect Winter Park’s businesses to people who will most appreciate its unique value.
In the end, we’re working to make the Winter Park experience equally great for our residents and our visitors. It was refreshing to hear from Rifai, “we cannot have 5-star hotels in 3-star cities.” Winter Park can and should have the very best of both. So, as we work to recruit more visitors, our focus is also on strengthening our community so we may enrich the Winter Park experience for both visitors and hosts.