Tourism Institute hosts symposium for Florida destinations
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Tourism Crisis Management Institute at the University of Florida recently hosted a symposium on Tourism Crisis Management for Destinations on June 25. The event was held at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in conjunction with the Florida Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Destination Marketing Industry Summit.
All attendees had tourism crisis management responsibilities, which included representation from Florida Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs), Tourism Development Councils and County Chambers of Commerce.
The institute presented a crisis-management model to assist tourism-industry professionals with crisis planning. Two research studies were also presented including preparedness by destination management organizations at both the national level and within Florida.
A four-person panel discussed various crisis management strategies they had used during crisis situations. The individuals on the panel included practitioners such as Pam Brown, sales manager of The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel Convention and Visitors Bureau; Bud Nocera, CEO of Visit Florida, Inc.; Rose Rundle, director of Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers; and Roland Loog, executive director of Visit Gainesville.
“It (the symposium) was a good exchange of ideas. The round table discussion was very beneficial. It seems that all of us are concerned with similar issues and are looking for similar solutions,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples Marco Island CVB.
The symposium concluded with small group sessions where attendees discussed planning challenges with the government, accommodations and the potential for developing mutual aid agreements so bureaus and chambers can provide assistance to each other during crises.
Ann Sternal, executive director of the Ocala Marion County CVB, said, “It (the symposium) was an excellent seminar and very beneficial. We do not have a plan in place in Ocala. It provides us with information we need to start developing a plan. I am very impressed with the work of the UF Tourism Crisis Institute.”
For more information about the symposium, please visit www.tourismcrisis.com.