Shhh…don’t let anyone know how cold it is here in Florida! In fact, an entire marketing campaign depends upon us keeping this hush, hush. Visit Florida’s newest television commercial “The Warmer Side of Winter,” is targeting cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia. It features visitors flying (migrating) over a variety of Florida locations including theme parks, beaches and golf courses. Dressed, of course in shorts, colorful shirts and beach wear.

Last year the Florida agency paid to have Chicago train cars wrapped with ads promoting Florida. It proved to be successful, so legislators increased funding this year to more than $63 million. This allows the organization to advertise promoting Florida year-round. Easy to do in the cold of winter! In addition, last week, Gov. Rick Scott proposed increasing the agency’s budget even further, to $100 million next fiscal year. A smart move, because we all know that more tourist leads to more jobs. If it works, a goal of 100 million tourists will come to Florida in just one year!

During the Winter, two of Florida’s greatest assets are the warmth and sunshine. Pair them with the fact that traveling here is relatively inexpensive, and you’ve got a cheap vacation. It is very easy to pack a lot into a 3- or 4-day trip. With so many fun things to within a few miles of each other, Orlando is a great choice for tourists. Cheap hotel rooms and discounted theme park tickets are relatively easy to find. ORLANDO TOURIST TIP: Visit Florida, Visit Orlando and Experience Kissimmee websites are just a few online places to start looking for great deals. With a little research, families can find a “warmer side of winter” with just a few clicks.

It may not matter if we are bottoming out at near-freezing temperatures. The folks that are viewing this commercial and other digital, print and radio ads promoting Florida have had a very cold winter with a lot more on the way. I encounter visitors nearly every day when I walk my dogs near the beach. I’m glad they have come here to visit. I issue a warm welcome despite the odd looks I get from them. I’m all bundled up, clad in a winter coat, gloves, scarf, etc. It is cold to me! However, these tourists just smile, push up their sunglasses and grab their beach towels as they head down to the water in their flip flops. To them, this is warm! I love living in Florida!