By: Ann Ruppenstein
Think Florida is all about unforgettable theme parks and stunning sandy beaches? Although those are some of the key features that draw in visitors year after year, the state is putting the spotlight on its more off-the-beaten-path experiences that await travellers.
From the Devil’s Den Spring, a prehistoric cavern which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase Old Florida, to swimming alongside manatees in Crystal River, these lesser known sides to the destination are showcased in a new four part docu-series called ‘Wanderlust: Florida.’
“This docu-series, which was produced in partnership with The Weather Network, shines a light on some of Florida’s amazing hidden gems that we think would be of particular interest to Canadians looking for new experiences in a destination like Florida that they already know so well,” Dana Young, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, told attendees during a pre-screening event for the series this week. “Canada is a critical market to Florida. In fact, Canada is our No. 1 international market. In 2019, more than 3.6 million Canadians came to our state and that was an increase of roughly 2% over the year before. Canadians represent about 1/4 of all our international visitors.”
While travel restrictions have impacted Canadian visits, Young says the destination is working diligently to ensure that they will be ready to safely welcome visitors when the borders reopen.
“Although this pandemic is unlike anything any of us have ever seen, our industry is resilient, we will come back and people will travel again, that is a certainty. So when they do, our goal at VISIT FLORIDA is to make sure that Florida is at the top of their list.”
From witnessing bioluminescence under the moonlight to soaking up the sunset on Sanibel Island, Wanderlust: Florida depicts some incredible experiences that are all possible within driving distance from four Air Canada gateways: Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale.
“We’re bringing Florida to your home… the Florida you may or may not know,” said Summer Gonzalez, International Campaign Manager at VISIT FLORIDA. “We wanted to highlight how much more of our state there is to know.”
The first episode of Wanderlust: Florida airs tonight (Feb. 18) at 10pm ET on The Weather Network, with re-airs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
EPS 1 (Feb 18) – Space Coast
EPS 2 (Feb 25) – Crystal River & area
EPS 3 (Mar 4) – Fort Myers & Sanibel area
EPS 4 (Mar 11) – Everglades/Keys (out of Ft Lauderdale)
For more information head to: www.wanderlust.theweathernetwork.com.