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Discover The Palm Beaches Focuses on Destination Transformation as County Set to Break Visitation Records Again in 2023

On the verge of another record-breaking year and several large-scale tourism initiatives, Palm Beach County official tourism agency reveals 2024 tourism plan for the community.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2023) Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), Palm Beach County’s official Destination Marketing Organization, held a special State of the Tourism Industry event today at The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts for tourism partners and community stakeholders.  The event’s theme was “Aspire. Transform. Collaborate.” highlighting the evolution of the tourism industry through new technologies and the long-term transformation and sustainability of the destination.  The agency discussed key initiatives including new artificial intelligence and forecasting tools, the fundamental role of the tourism master plan and second convention center hotel, as well as its 2024 marketing campaign. 

The event brought together a panel of speakers including Vail Ross of 2Synergize, Darren Rankine of Transparent Partners, and Richard Cutting-Miller of CSL International, who discussed key trends and provided expert insights into the tourism industry.  The panel addressed several topics in the continually evolving industry such as the current technology and data landscape, navigating metrics and artificial intelligence, as well as destination strategy, economics, sustainability and planning.  Other guest speakers included DTPB Chairman of Board Jason Emmett and Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker.   

DTPB President & CEO Milton Segarra reaffirmed his commitment to lead the organization through this transition year and continue to make tourism a community shared value and economic driver for Palm Beach County.  He outlined key focus areas for DTPB in 2024 including the tourism master plan and second headquarter-hotel in the convention center district that will reshape the destination and impact the visitor and resident experience.  He also encouraged the greater Palm Beaches community – tourism partners, leaders, elected officials, businesses, and residents – to actively participate in the upcoming planning process.

“We want our community and stakeholders to know that tourism is not just about the visitor experience; it is also a vital component that supports the quality of life for residents and local businesses.  Palm Beach County is poised for an incredible transformation with ample opportunities, and we want to align ourselves with the desires and needs of our community and craft our future together,” Segarra said.  “Discover The Palm Beaches is creating meaningful brand evolution with revolutionary marketing technologies to maintain and expand our market share in a more engaged and holistic approach that will benefit the entire county, while charting a roadmap for the growth and modification of our destination’s infrastructure.”

DTPB released data that shows The Palm Beaches are on track for another record-breaking year, forecasting a total of 9.5M visitors for 2023, and visitor spending of $7B with continued moderate growth expected to continue in 2024.  The organization attested to the increasingly important role that the tourism industry plays in the economy and quality of life of all residents in Palm Beach County by contributing 85,000+ jobs to the local workforce and $10 billion in economic impact.  The Palm Beaches plan on welcoming 17 new hotels with 2,372 rooms by 2026, contributing to overall destination growth as well as providing new meeting and experience options for residents.  The tourism industry’s “trickle down” effect touches every sector of the local economy.

The Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council (TDC), in collaboration with all TDC agencies, are in the final stages of selecting and announcing the consulting company that will assist in the execution of a tourism master plan.  With input from tourism partners and community members, the plan will provide a 20-year visionary roadmap to maintain and enhance Palm Beach County’s travel market position, addressing tourism-related product development needs for the region, identifying opportunities for investors and businesses, establishing workforce development and diversity initiatives, and closing the gap between demand and supply for visitors, residents, and stakeholders.  

As it relates to hotel development, DTPB considers a second convention center hotel a fundamental step to position The Palm Beaches as a competitor in the mid-tier convention and meetings market, allowing the destination to attract and accommodate larger groups and meetings and utilizing the convention center to greater capacity while increasing economic impact to the area exponentially.  As a result, Palm Beach County has issued a request for proposal for a second headquarter hotel in the convention center district to create a minimum of 600 additional rooms as recommended by a comprehensive study approved by the County Commission in 2020.  

Honoring Hospitality Workers

DTPB also partnered with The Above and Beyond Foundation to present two local Hero of Hospitality Awards at the event along with a grant of $5000 to each recipient.  The award is presented to front-line hospitality workers who demonstrated the core values of the foundation and embody the heart of hospitality through an extra single act of service and/or consistent job performance that is truly “above and beyond.”  Recipients of the awards were: Solange Florine, a room attendant at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa who was recognized for her passion, dedication and positive attitude with guests and team members, and Cels Camejo, a room service server at Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa who was one of the original employees hired at the resort and recognized for 32 years of service embodying genuine hospitality in all areas.

Looking Ahead – Community Engagement, Sales, and Marketing

In 2024, DTPB will work on new strategic developments across the organization to broaden partner engagement and further enhance the appeal of The Palm Beaches.  Community engagement efforts will focus on industry advocacy, sustainability, and reaffirming its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.  A new Certified Tourism Ambassador program will create a certification program for frontline workers, stakeholders, and volunteers in The Palm Beaches hospitality industry.  

The agency also plans to further refine its sales strategy by creating a balanced approach of securing advance bookings of meetings and events alongside leisure visitation to minimize seasonality in the destination.  Tactics include increasing in-person engagement with potential clients, leveraging technology to increase speed to market, and attracting additional transformational events that fill hotel rooms during need periods.  Additionally, as international travel continues to rise, enhancing integrated marketing efforts in key international markets namely Canada, the UK, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, and Germany will remain vital – international visitors to The Palm Beaches make up 8% of total visitation to the destination.  

Continuing to evolve The Palm Beaches brand message, DTPB also unveiled a new marketing campaign aimed at showcasing the diverse offerings available in the destination and aptly named The Palm Beaches Collection.  The new campaign will be amplified through social media and new MarTech tactics that further exhibit the agency’s digital capabilities using tools on its website, along with mobile applications and new generative AI.

The agency will also continue its #LoveThePalmBeaches resident referral campaign this year, encouraging Palm Beach County residents to invite their loved ones to the destination to capitalize on its largest and most trusted referral source for future visitors.  Additional efforts aimed at residents and partners include education, expert recommendations, and collaboration to create sustainability initiatives and welcoming environments throughout the destination.  

To find out more information and view DTPBs’ full FY’23-24 marketing plan, visit: www.thepalmbeaches.com/AnnualMarketingPlan

About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit, accredited tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as The Palm Beaches, which spans more than 2,300 square miles and boasts 47 miles of pristine beaches from Highland Beach and Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tasked with growing visitation and the local tourism economy, the organization works year-round to bring travelers from around the state, country and globe to visit Palm Beach County. The Palm Beaches have a rich history in hospitality as America’s First Resort Destination® and tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries.  For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com.

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The Palm Beaches

PR@thepalmbeaches.com

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