Floridas Getaways Key West Everglades
By Marilyn Bowden
When Miamians go on vacation, pinpointing their favorite vacation spots within the state depends on whom you ask.
Key West and the Everglades are the most popular destinations for clients of Gatortrax Adventure Tours, a Miami-based motor coach company specializing in group charters for school field trips, sporting events, church retreat and corporate outings, said owner Buddy Novak.
They’re followed by Orlando and St. Augustine.
Miami ranks fifth in destinations Floridians head for when they’re traveling within their own state, said Kathy Torian, spokesperson for Visit Florida, the state’s official travel and tourism agency. She said Share a Little Sunshine, a social media-driven grassroots campaign to encourage Floridians to share what they love about their home state, reveals that Orlando is overwhelmingly the top stop.
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clear-water, she said is "a distant second," followed by small rural places that are off the beaten path, and then Jacksonville, Miami, Daytona, Fort Lauderdale and Naples.
The four primary activities Floridians enjoy on vacation, Ms. Torian said, are shopping, theme and amusement parks, beaches, and sightseeing.
But many, said Rolando Aedo, senior vice president of marketing & tourism at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, prefer to sample some of the local offerings.
"Speaking to our hotel community, the local market is a huge source of business," he said. "When Miamians are looking for a getaway, without a doubt their own backyard is on their radar screen, whether it’s for a holiday weekend or a midsummer escape with their family."
The trend is strong enough, he said, for local hotels and attractions to spend marketing dollars advertising to Miamians.
"Those who live in the community tend not to have experienced the best the community has to offer," Mr. Aedo said, "and they don’t have to spend a lot of money on transportation, especially on family-centric activities."To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.