Here you can find the latest stories and announcements from the Florida Attractions Association.
Florida Attractions Association Members Honored with 2023 Flagler Awards
At last week’s Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism (#GC23) presented by VISIT FLORIDA, tourism entities were honored for their distinctive and passionate marketing of their respective attractions and destinations.
Congratulations to our FAA members who were recognized for their ardent marketing flair and thanks to all Florida’s marketing professionals who keep the visitors coming to enjoy our state’s coveted, world-class attractions and destinations.
Best of Show
Annual marketing budget less than $500,000: Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures for “VR Takes Boggy Creek to Travel Partners Worldwide.”
Annual marketing budget greater than $2 million: Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Amelia Island Weather Trigger.
Creativity in Public Relations
Henry: The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County and Discover The Palm Beaches for the “Palm Beaches in Bloom” New York Media Event
Silver: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau for “Formula One”
Bronze: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for “It’s an Island thing”
Henry: Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods for “Hearts and Engagements Soar with Lee County” Direct Mail Piece
Bronze: Visit Sarasota County for the “Sarasota: The Only Place to Pull Ahead” Carousel Card
Henry: Visit Tampa Bay for “Measure the Treasure in Tampa Bay”
Social Media Marketing
Henry: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for their Social Media Travel Guides
Silver: The Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium for the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Times Square Billboard
Bronze: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for Amelia Island Podcast Advertising
Bronze: Experience Kissimmee for their Shoulder Season Campaign
Henry: The Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Amelia Island Weather Trigger
Silver: Visit Tampa Bay for the Tampa Riverwalk Attraction Pass
Henry: Visit Tampa Bay for the Visit Tampa Gay Guide
Bronze: Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures for “VR Takes Boggy Creek to Travel Partners Worldwide”
Sustainable Tourism Marketing
Bronze: The Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center for “Help us do our small part”
Mixed Media Campaign
Silver: Discover The Palm Beaches for “The Golden Age of Travel” Mixed Media Campaign
Bronze: ZooTampa at Lowry Park for ZOO Tampa’s Creatures of the Night Campaign
This webinar is offered to all FAA members, irrespective of their IAAPA membership status.
Potentially Game-Changing ADA Decision!
Stay ADA compliant and alert to litigation risks! Hear from legal, safety, and disability experts on Sept. 14, 2023, from 1-2 p.m. EDT as they discuss the crucial lessons and potential ramifications of the July 7, 2023, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in Campbell v. Universal on ride and waterslide access for individuals with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This Opinion Opens the Door to Significant Impacts On the Industry:
This live chat is provided for educational purposes, and our panelists will not be providing legal advice to any participant.
Tropical Storm / Hurricane
Dear FAA Members,
Today we face our state's latest challenge as Tropical Storm / Hurricane Idalia threatens Florida. If your attraction operation is altered by this storm, please contact the FAA Office and allow us to update our Attraction Status Page with your information.
This page is used by VISIT FLORIDA Official Welcome Centers to serve the traveling public and other state and local government agencies.
You should also report your operating status and any special needs and circumstances to your County Emergency Management.
The FAA is monitoring calls and emails. Please contact us if we can be of service.
FAA Office - (850) 222-2885
FAA Emergency Resources
In response to the drop tower incident in Orlando last year, the Florida Legislature has enacted several amendments to Florida Statute 616.242 - Safety standards for amusement rides. This Industry Correspondence dated June 27, 2023, from Michelle Faulk, Bureau Chief, FDACS – Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection outlines these changes, many of which went into affect on July 1, 2023. The corresponding Bill passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor, can be viewed here.
Michelle Faulk has been particularly responsive to our industry and is available to work with you as you adopt these adjustments. The FAA will continue to work with the FDACS – Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection as they conduct a Rule-Making process to further define Legislative intent.
If you have any questions, please contact Michele Faulk at the FDACS-BFR or Bill Lupfer at the FAA.
1. How Florida’s economy will be affected by increased inflation, labor scarcity, and political influences.
"Overall, the environment lends itself to incredible efficiency & productivity for industry professionals/stakeholders, given the quality of the audience in attendance." --- 2023 Attendee
2. How to tap into a new state program providing up to $1 million in grants for hurricane repair of your business’s infrastructure.
3. How major changes in tort reform will immediately impact your business.
"You never know how it will go when you attend a conference for the first time but the Florida Attractions Association Conference in Fort Myers was incredible and I’m sad I’ve waited so long to join this organization. New friends, tons of industry support and we closed out with a story on resilience from one of our military Veterans. Leaving full and inspired." --- 2023 Attendee
4. How to increase your attraction’s revenue by making the most of every guest.
"This side of the Florida tourism industry is one that I do not know much about, but after a few short days, I feel like I am a part of the family. I've met so many new people and learned so many new things. Truly a great conference and those who put it on did a spectacular job." --- 2023 Attendee
5. How to work with the Florida Department of Transportation in developing road and highway projects in your city.
"Great energy, great strategizing, great discussion. THANK YOU!" --- 2023 Attendee
6. How you can be a part of the solution to Florida’s human trafficking crisis.
"One of our strongest conferences. Wonderful content and well attended. First timers were mingling nicely. " --- 2023 Attendee
7. How VISIT FLORIDA will leverage their $80 million annual budget.
"Every session had great quality information." --- 2023 Attendee
8. How to maintain safety, security and address guest conduct issues at your attraction.
"Lots of great breakout sessions, and speakers. It was a very energetic and fun conference while learning. Some conferences can be very boring and this one is not, so thank you." --- 2023 Attendee
9. Lessons in resilience learned through a Category 5 hurricane.
"I just wanted to send you a note of gratitude for all your efforts working on the FAA Conference last week. It was our first time and we felt so welcomed by attendees and board members. I appreciate the staff taking great care of us throughout the process, and it was clear to see how much of a family FAA really is." --- 2023 Attendee
10. How to develop strategies for successful community partnerships and sponsorships.
Watch for details and plan to participate in the FAA’s 75th Annual Conference – full of relatable and applicable information for your business. June 2024. Details coming soon.
2023 Annual Conference Recap
Nearly 300 attraction industry professionals convened for the Florida Attractions 2023 Annual Conference in Fort Myers June 11-14 as we celebrated the strength, resilience and determination of our industry. #FloridaAttractionsStrong
To our attendees - thank you for sharing in our extraordinary three days of inspiration and innovation. For those who missed it - we hope you'll consider your industry's annual conference an essential part of your professional development in 2024.
Visit our recap site to view photos, download General Session and Breakout Session presentations, and more!
Thank You to Our Sponsors!
The Florida Attractions Scholarship Foundation (FASF) Board of Directors have selected five Florida-based students as recipients of the 2023 Scholarship. Daniela Botero, Ann Marie Casado, Sophie Duguid, Caleb Jessee and Frank Verney will each receive a check for $2,000 to aid them in their pursuit of their hospitality-related degrees. FASF will be highlighting the scholarship program and acknowledging this year’s recipients at the Florida Attractions 2023 Annual Conference on Monday, June 12 at the Luminary Hotel in Fort Myers.
Daniela Botero is currently working at Universal Orlando Resort as an Event Guide while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Event Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. Daniela’s career goal is to create new themed experiences using technology to make them more inclusive by different languages or add larger ride restraints. She has a sincere love for theme parks and aims to inspire others in the way she was inspired to enhance the guest experience.
Ann Marie Casado is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Event Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. She currently works at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Orlando Resort’s Volcano Bay as an Attractions Attendant. Event planning has always been Ann Marie’s passion, and is confident that a degree from the number one hospitality school in the world will prepare her for the challenges she may face in the industry.
Sophie Duguid is earning her degree in Hospitality Management form the university of Central Florida on the Theme Park Track. She has worked several positions at Busch Gardens Tampa including Ride Operator, Trainer, Photographer and Supervisor. Her goal is to become a leader in the theme park industry and ignite the same passion that she has in others. Upon competition of her degree, she would like to continue a leadership role at Busch Gardens.
Caleb Jessee is a member of the team at Universal Orlando Resort where he serves as an Admissions Inventory and Project intern while working on his degree in Hospitality Management from the Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida. He is expected to graduate at the end of this year, and when Epic Universe opens up in 2025, he intends to be a part of that park’s opening team as a lead or supervisor in any department.
Frank Verney is an experienced attraction professional serving as Assistant Park Manager at Lion Country Safari. He has worked for Lion Country Safari for more than 10 years and is pursuing a professional development opportunity to grow into a leadership role at his attraction. Frank works to make sure the staff has service training as well as everything they need to enhance the guest experience.
Created in 2013, FASF has awarded scholarships to students pursuing degrees in hospitality-related fields to secure the future of the workforce. Since its inception, the FASF has granted nearly $80,000 in scholarships. Scholarship applicants must be an employee or dependent of an employee of a Florida Attractions Association (FAA) member business, be a Florida resident and a full-time student.
In case you missed it -- On April 20, FAA Chairman of the Board John Dent, Director of Worldwide Safety Assurance Walt Disney World, and your FAA Staff provided an overview of your FAA Member Benefits. Whether you are a newer member or just need a refresher on the great benefits available to you as a member of the Florida Attractions Association, you can access the full recordings of the webinars below:
New Member Orientation Webinar
Thursday, April 20
Join FAA Chairman of the Board John Dent, Director of Worldwide Safety Assurance Walt Disney World, and your FAA Staff for an overview of your Member Benefits. Whether you are a newer member or just need a refresher on the great benefits available to you as a member of the Florida Attractions Association, please join us!
We will demonstrate the online resources available to you on your FloridaAttractions.Org member website, as well as provide an overview of your member benefits.
Attraction Members | 2:00pm EDT
Associate Members | 3:00pm EDT
Information to join the webinar is provided in your confirmation when you submit your RSVP.
A Message from FAA Chairman John Dent
Registration and Hotel Reservations
Open April 18!
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