Category Archives: Tourism

05May/10

Celebrate National Tourism Week With Us

Lakeland and Polk County will be celebrating National Tourism Week on Tuesday, May 25 at 8:30a.m. at Lake Eva Banquet Hall at 799 Johns Avenue in Haines City.  The Keynote Speaker will be Will Seccombe –Chief Marketing Officer at Visit Florida –presenting Visit Florida’s marketing platform and introducing the impact LEGOLAND  will have on Florida and Polk County’s tourism industry.

Facts on Florida Tourism:

  • Every 85 visitors to the Sunshine State support 1 Florida Job;

During 2009:

  • 20.3 million visitors
  • $15.8 billion in spending
  • $948 million in sales tax collections
  • 238,000 Florida Jobs

An investment in tourism marketing strengthens Florida’s economy.  Every public dollar invested in tourism generates more than $3 of additional sales tax revenue paid by visitors, not residents…  One of the main reasons Florida does not have a state income tax!

Tourism provides 1 million jobs to Floridians and adds $3.9 billion to state coffers annually.  Tourism-related tax revenues provide the necessary funding for road construction, education, schools, libraries, health care and other vital programs.

If you would like to attend this breakfast celebrating Tourism contact sara@VisitCentralFlorida.org.  Cost is $10.00 person and you must have reservations!

04May/10

New Online Clubs & Organizations Directory

Lakeland’s sense of place is something that the Chamber and the Convention & Visitor’s Bureau highlights on a regular basis. With 90,000 fabulous residents and another 110,000 in the surrounding areas*, there are plenty of diverse interests and needs!

For several years, the Chamber has produced a printed directory of Clubs & Organizations to help each resident and visitor find his or her niche in our community. This year, we are proud to release an online searchable database of clubs and organizations. There are still some bugs, and it is a work in progress, but we are proud to offer this added benefit to the community and our members! Please be sure to check the directory to find your outlet to serve, or to be sure that your favorite club or organization is listed.

Thanks for visiting, we hope it will help you find your “sense of place”.

[*Editor’s note: Jim Studiale, City of Lakeland Director of Community Development, sent us this message regarding Lakeland’s population: “Jason Willey in my office puts out the demographic atlas each year in cooperation with others to give all organizations one benchmark [consistent with FL BEBR and the US Census] and the numbers in the recent issue are; 94,163 for city pop in 2009 and 253,084 in Lakeland Electric Service Area.” That report is available here.]

26Apr/10

Lakeland CVB & Sun ‘n Fun By The Numbers

The Lakeland Convention & Visitors Bureau, an initiative of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Lakeland, worked with the Central Florida Visitors & Convention Bureau at the Sun ‘n Fun Tourism Information Center each day during Sun ‘n Fun to provide member information such as restaurants, shopping, transportation, area attractions, and more to visitors. Additionally, a Housing Bureau was set up in the center to provide daily information on available accommodations and specific rate information. Reservations could be made directly from the Tourist Information Center. The Center also provided a complimentary INTERNET CAFÉ set up by Sun ‘n Fun for the convenience of visitors.

The Tourist Information Center logged 2,861 total visitors with busiest days being (in order) Wed, Thur, Fri, Tue, Sat, Sun, Mon. The numbers included an increase of 224 over last year’s total of 2,637.

What a busy week for Lakeland and your Chamber of Commerce!

15Apr/10

Polk County BOCC Hosts Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In Webinar

A panel of experts will tell you why Polk County is a great place for airplanes and pilots, and why Central Florida is the ideal destination for your next cross-country flight.In addition, you’ll get an online glimpse of fly-in sights and sounds, as well as aviation safety forums being broadcast live from the FAA Productions Studios in the FAASTeam’s National Resource Center. Plus, view live coverage of the USAF Thunderbirds and the daily Sun n’ Fun air show. And throughout the day, you can share your own Sun n’ Fun experiences with other online participants!

This webinar is free and requires no pre-registration or enrollment.All you need is a computer with internet access to log on at any of the following host sites beginning at 10:00 a.m.: www.theledger.com/pgtv, www.newschief.com, www.myfoxtampabay.com, www.wpcv.com, www.wonn.com, www.wlkf.com and www.max983.com.

For more information about webinars produced through PGTV (Polk Government Television), visit www.polk-county.net/pgtv or contact PGTV at (863) 534-5997. PGTV is an operation of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners

15Apr/10

Road Runners Club of America Convention Comes to Lakeland

Running club representatives from around the country will be coming to Lakeland in just two weeks as the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) brings its national convention to The Lakeland Center April 21-25. The convention, which was hosted in San Francisco last year and Cincinnati the previous year, was brought to Polk County by Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing and the Lakeland Runners Club. The convention will bring 200 running enthusiasts and several big name speakers to Polk County. The highlight of the convention schedule is the speaker lineup that includes some of the biggest names in running and also an appearance by Orlando Magic Senior Vice President and one of America’s top motivational speakers, Pat Williams. The keynote address will be given by running legend Bill Rodgers who is best known for his victories in the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon in the late 1970s. In December of 1999, Rodgers was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame located in Indianapolis and in 1998, Rodgers was inducted in the first round to the National Distance Running Hall Of Fame in Utica, New York. Also speaking at the event will be Polk County native and distance running legend Keith Brantly. With a running career spanning three decades, many experts consider Keith Brantly to be one of the most successful runners in United States distance running history.

Throughout the convention, participants are able to attend educational seminars, experience the latest in running technology at an expo and hear from speakers from around the world about health and fitness issues.

The centerpiece of the convention will be Race the Lakes, the RRCA 5K National Championship, on Saturday, April 24.  The course for Race the Lakes will go around Lake Mirror, Lake Morton, and Lake Hollingsworth and through the streets of downtown Lakeland. The event offers a 5k and 10k course and participants will also have the option to run both consecutively in the 15k challenge.

Registration for the conference and the road race is still available and open to non RRCA members. For more information about the conference, or to register, call Polk County Tourism & Spots Marketing at 863-551-4750 or visit the convention website at www.rrcaconvention.org. People interested in registering for the race only can do so online at www.active.com.