TORONTO — Florida Governor Rick Scott was in Toronto this morning to appeal to “100% of Canadians” to visit the state this winter.
During an official press conference at Toronto’s Union Station, the governor announced a new program for Canadians that includes exclusive 20% discounts on airfare, rental cars and lodging “to help even out the dollar value”. Available on two websites – loveflorida.ca and visitflorida.com – the program, said Scott, gives Canadians another reason to visit the state.
“We love Canadians, you’re a big part of our state, our biggest group of international travellers. We always want to make sure all Canadians believe they’re getting good value when they come to Florida,” he said.
Air Canada Vacations and Air Canada were selected to be the official tour operator and airline partner for the new program, offering $40 off flights to Florida (if booked by Nov. 3), and 25% off Florida vacations throughout November. ACV offers over 150 properties in Florida, from inns and hotels to condos and luxury properties ranging from 2.5 to 5 stars. Flights to various destinations depart daily from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.
Canadian deals also include 20% off on the base rate of weekly and weekend car rentals with Dollar Car Rental, and free night promotions and 20% discounts at a wide number of hotels like Blue Heron Beach Resort in Orlando, The Don Cesar Hotel in St. Pete Beach, Beacon South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach, Sailport Waterfront Suites in Tampa, and Magic Village Resort in Orlando.
As for attractions, Canadians can take advantage of exclusive deals at the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye in Orlando, Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, TreeUmph! Adventure Course in Bradenton, and Florida Citrus Sports in Orlando.
This year, Florida will welcome 120 million tourists, including three million Canadians – “though 40 million would be better,” joked Scott. “We want 100% of Canadians to come down, at least once a year would be nice.”
When asked whether the state has fully recovered from Hurricane Irma, he said “absolutely”. Aside from a 25-mile stretch in the Florida Keys, Florida was largely unaffected. Key West was up and running five days after Irma hit landfall, said Scott, with cruise ships coming into port. Florida’s beaches are once again pristine, amusement parks and restaurants are all open, and state parks – which Scott referred to as the best in the country – are all open for business.
As part of his official visit to Canada (his second during his now seven-year tenure, the first being in 2011), Governor Scott also met with a variety of Canadian companies to “try to create win-win relationships” and create more job opportunities for both Floridians and Canadians. He also hosted a media breakfast along with Ken Lawson, President of VISIT FLORIDA, where he once again urged Canadians to book a trip.
“Come to Florida,” he said, “we’ll do everything we can to give you a great experience.”