California and Illinois aren’t the only states strapped for cash.
Florida lawmakers have decided to cut the budget for the state-subsidized tourism agency, Visit Florida, to $25 million, $10 million less than what it received last year, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The optimist in me says the Sunshine State will endure the downturn even without the added support of the agency–especially if the airlines continue to discount airfares. I found an insanely cheap fare to Tampa on AirTran for around $138 roundtrip, but I went with Southwest (for $179 to boot) because it’s easier to travel with the kids on direct flights.
Given the competition for out-of-towners, hotels are doing everything possible to convert vacancies into occupancies, so Florida vacation home owners should be creative with their marketing and consider dangling last-minute deals and other incentives–including buy three, get the fourth-night-free promotions to free Disney tickets–to land bookings.
Travelers, if you’re looking for that resort experience but like the conveniences of your own kitchen, VacationHomeRentals.com has plenty of properties to suit your needs. (Destin vacation rentals come to mind.)
The diminished power of Visit Florida hopefully won’t deter tourists from visiting. Because when it comes to surf, sand and sun, the state is to vacations as McDonald’s is to french fries. It’s what it does best.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.