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Visit Florida to go mobile

in Statewide by

Visitors to Florida will soon be able to find tourism hotspots on their iPhones and Blackberries.

Visit Florida, the state’s public-private tourism marketing corporation, is developing a mobile Web site so that visitors can research the best beaches as they stroll through historic St. Augustine or compare hotel rates while waiting to board Space Mountain at Walt Disney World.

The site, which Visit Florida hopes to have ready by September, is another evolution in Visit Florida’s attempt to harness emerging technology and social networks to attract tourists to the state. Tourism contributes $65 billion annually to Florida’s economy.

The new mobile site will act as an entryway to Visit Florida services and information, much like the regular Visit Florida Web site, said Jill Stewart, Internet manager for Visit Florida. The mobile site gives Visit Florida a chance to appeal to tourists on the go, an all-important market in the mobile age.

“There are more mobile users in the world than there are Internet users,” Stewart said.

Right now, the Visit Florida Web site looks weird on mobile phones, with odd spacing and malfunctioning images. The new site will fix that and be easier to use.

“We don’t want it to look off,” Stewart said.

Visit Florida has been expanding its online marketing campaigns.

The Share a Little Sunshine campaign was started to mobilize Floridians to boost the state tourism industry, and it has attracted a legion of 14,500 fans on Facebook since the campaign was started last year, said Kathy Torian, Visit Florida’s Manager of Communications. Continue reading here.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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