The sights and sounds of Miami warm up a cold Toronto night

The sights and sounds of Miami warm up a cold Toronto night

TORONTO — How do you expedite a city’s post-storm clean-up after a swipe from Hurricane Irma? Make sure the clean-up crews have plenty of food available – and while they work to clear debris off the streets and beaches, make sure their kids are well taken care of by setting up a temporary daycare facility. “It was brilliant,” says William Talbert, President & CEO of the Greater Miami CVB.

Miami took a hit from Irma back in September but the city bounced back in no time thanks to forward-thinking city staff who made sure maintenance crews had all the resources they needed, says Talbert.

“We were lucky,” he said, offering a post-hurricane update at last night’s Toronto reception hosted by the Greater Miami CVB. “There was no structural damage and no standing water.”

Talbert joined hotel reps at the Toronto reception to update the consumer and travel trade media on Miami and the Canadian market. “We love Canada,” he told the crowd.

The Canadian market is holding up well and remains a strong #1 spot as Miami’s top international market. No matter what happens with the Canadian dollar (or politics), “one thing I know, when it gets cold, they’re coming.”

Miami has plenty of international visitors, with more than 100 airlines flying into the city’s airport, more than any other U.S. destination. Talbert adds: “We’re the only city in the U.S. where more than 50% of our tourism is international. And international visitors represent 70% of our visitor spend.”

Miami is also “the cruise capital of the world – and we own that,” said Talbert. Tourism officials are eagerly awaiting completion of Royal Caribbean’s brand new, US$247 million terminal at PortMiami. The new terminal is scheduled to open this fall as the home port of Allure of the Seas and the new Symphony of the Seas, debuting in November.

Between 700,000 and 800,000 of Miami’s annual visitors are coming in for cruises, said Talbert.

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