Florida favourite Kissimmee seeing pent-up demand from Canadian market
Experience Kissimmee’s President and CEO, DT Minich, and Susan Webb, President, VoX International (centre) with colleagues and industry friends at the Partner Appreciation event on July 20

Florida favourite Kissimmee seeing pent-up demand from Canadian market

TORONTO— Experience Kissimmee was showcased at a media reception this week as part of its mission to get Canadian travellers re-engaged with the destination.

Experience Kissimmee is represented in Canada by VoX International, with oversight by Denise Graham, Account Manager for Experience Kissimmee Canada. In attendance at the event, along with VoX representatives, were Experience Kissimmee’s President and CEO, DT Minich, and Director of Communications, Juliana Leveroni.

Minich says Kissimmee is seeing high demand for nature-based and outdoor activities, fuelling new markets and proving to travellers that Kissimmee can offer such activities in abundance despite its reputation for theme parks.

As Minich put it, “one can stand in the shadows of the world’s most famous castle and, literally, 25 minutes later, kayak in the shadows of 200- to 300-year-old cypress trees on the headwaters of the Everglades.”

Florida favourite Kissimmee seeing pent-up demand from Canadian marketThere was also much discussion surrounding Kissimmee being the ‘Vacation Home Capital of the World,’ with 50,000 holiday home rentals. The primary benefits of these purpose-built homes, which have been highly popular for multi-generational travel, are ease, privacy, economy, and coziness.

There are more fresh offerings for Canadian travellers to enjoy. The Peppa Pig Theme Park at Legoland Florida Resort has a Certified Autism Center that includes accessible rides. There’s also Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.

Additionally, new air service is coming this winter from gateways across Canada. Air Canada will commence service to Orlando International from Halifax, Ottawa and Quebec City in October. WestJet starts flights from St. John’s, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver in the fall. Air Transat is adding lift from Quebec City this December and Halifax in February. And Swoop and Flair Airlines will start flying to Orlando Sanford International in the coming months.

With winter marking high season for the Canadian market in Kissimmee, Minich and his team say they’re looking forward to a busy and robust winter this year. They’ve witnessed heavy pent-up demand from Canadian travellers who have really been looking to get out, and get together, with family and friends again, which fits perfectly with this destination.

WOWED BY HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD

The July 19 get-together was followed by a second function last night, a Partner Appreciation event again hosted by Experience Kissimmee and Vox International, and co-hosted by Universal Orlando Resort.

The special evening included dinner at Bardi’s Steak House followed by an exciting performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre.

Florida favourite Kissimmee seeing pent-up demand from Canadian market“This is a way of us saying just thank you for your partnership,” said Minich at last night’s event. “Thank you for your friendship, thank you for your business. That’s what this industry is all about – the partnerships and relationships. You are amazing partners and I’m just thrilled that we can partner with Universal, they’re just they’re amazing. We do things all over the world with the Universal team and they have such a great product.”’

Last night’s production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was the perfect tie-in to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a top draw at Universal Orlando Resort since it opened in 2014.

“All we want is for you to come to Universal and experience the destination. The experience is epic,” said Lidia Markser, Sales Manager, Travel Industry Sales, Universal Parks & Resorts Vacations. Markser was joined by Jennifer Julian, Sales Manager, Online Partner Sales.

For inspiration and further information, visit experiencekissimmee.com.

With file by Annie Cicvaric