Networking with Miami: The key trends and resources agents should know

Networking with Miami: The key trends and resources agents should know

TORONTO — Greater Miami could not have timed their Virtual Networking Event any better. It took place the same day the Canadian government announced that it will finally be ditching the 3-day hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated Canadians and other eligible travellers.

The news, which comes as a huge relief to Canadian vacationers and Canada’s travel industry at large, will almost certainly mean more Canadians heading to Florida once the Canada-U.S. border reopens, which could be as early as June 21. During yesterday’s virtual event, Tania Kedikian, Account Manager for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, welcomed the news, saying that without a hotel quarantine in place, Canadians will be given a clear path to sunny Miami.

“Prime Minister Trudeau has said that first-dose vaccination rates need to be at 75% before he started talking about reopening and as of right now, we’re at 62.5%. Now that he’s announced that he’s going to lift the hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated Canadians, that’s going to help bump that number up from 62.5% to 75% very quickly,” said Kedikian.

“There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Our airline partners are going to come back and are feeling more confident in working with us. I’m also in Toronto, which is the leading market for Canada, and we’re reopening a lot faster than planned. I think this will position Trudeau to feel more confident to lift those borders,” she added.

Ahead of the border reopening, Greater Miami’s research team has identified three different travellers in Canada who would be best suited for Miami. One is the Young Experience Seeker who’s under the age of 30, will reportedly be the first ones to travel within the next three months, and who’s looking for adventure and excitement. The second is the Affluent Wanderer, clients who earn more than $200,000 a year, who wish to take longer trips internationally and who are most likely to book with a travel advisor. And third is the Sun Season Baby Boomer, an influential group who has the spending power to be able to prioritize travel agent.

What the three have in common is that they all said safety ranks among their most important must-haves when deciding on a destination, a key metric that both Miami and Florida have been performing well in, said Kedikian.

To help travel agents zero in on the right clients, Debra Lee, Director, Travel Industry Sales for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, reminded travel agents in attendance to visit www.miamiandbeaches.com for all the latest updates, safety protocols and travel ideas. There’s also a dedicated page for agents where they can access a digital library of resources as well as browse through previously recorded webinars about new hotels, attractions and offerings in the Greater Miami area. The Travel Specialist Program, launched a little over a year ago as a four-chapter online course, and the new Sunny Isles Beach Specialist Program are two other ways agents can stay up to date.

Not one to rest on its laurels, even during a pandemic, Greater Miami also launched the MIAMILAND campaign in 2020 to raise awareness about the destination’s offerings that go beyond sunshine and nightlife.

“There’s another side to our destination that you may not be as familiar with, and that’s the fact that we are actually surrounded by two national parks: Biscayne National Park where you can do standup paddling, kayaking and boating, and Everglades National Park, great for seeing wildlife on an airboat ride, truly an escape to another world that you probably would not have connected Miami with – that is MiamiLand.”

During yesterday’s two-hour networking session, participants were able to learn more about the campaign and meet with various supplier partners, including Clevelander South Beach Hotel, Marriott International, Solé Miami, Sunny Isles Beach Tourism and Marketing Council, and Town of Surfside. 

For more information about travel to Miami, go to www.miamiandbeaches.com.