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Fort Lauderdale’s Tourism Campaign Brings the Beach to Chicago

Skift Take

Fort Lauderdale’s ambient campaign has had a lot of success in northern cities given its timing around some of the worst storms of the winter.

— Samantha Shankman

Broward County’s tourism marketing agency brought its own kind of sunshine and beach vibe to Chicago on Wednesday, the second stop of its winter roadshow that’s aimed at increasing destination awareness and overnight visitation from key markets.

The agency’s “Beach Looks Good On You” promotion converted sections of downtown Chicago’s Michigan Avenue into a tropical scene featuring an oversized heated cabana with projected underwater scenes, suspended bikinis frozen in large ice and live streaming of images from Fort Lauderdale’s beaches.

During the event — which ran from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Chicagoans also got a chance to win free “Hello Sunny” sunglasses and a Greater Fort Lauderdale beach getaway. Other freebies included water bottles and ice scrapers. The tourism bureau’s glass-enclosed, sand-filled “Beach-on-Wheels” featuring bathing-suit clad models and beach balls, was also on site.

“We consider this Chicago beach day as more than just a gift of warmth, but a gift of thanks to our good friends in the Windy City,” said Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. “With non-stop air service on American, United, Spirit and Southwest airlines connecting Chicago and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the beach is within a few hours’ reach.”

The winter marketing campaign’s next stop is Washington, D.C., on March 18 and Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 29.

Last year, 13.1 million tourists visited Broward County and spent $10 billion in area hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions, CVB data show.

(c)2014 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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