Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk and Photo Fest by 1278NfOj

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									             Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk and Photo Fest

                           Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk and Photo Fest?

The Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk and Photo Fest is a one-day mile-by-mile beach
walk that covers all 825 miles of Florida’s beaches. Organizations and individual
volunteers around the state will celebrate our sandy shores and show the world – with
photos from each mile – that Florida’s beaches are as wonderful as ever.

How can I participate in the Beach Walk and Photo Fest?

All Florida residents and visitors are encouraged to be a part of the Beach Walk,
walking their favorite mile of Florida beach and taking photos that will become part of
the overall event to capture real-time images of the current conditions on all 825 miles
of Florida’s beaches. To register and receive a free official Beach Walk t-shirt, please
go to www.visitflorida.com/beachwalk.

Why should I get involved?

Tourism is the number one industry in the state of Florida, bringing in 80 million visitors
each year who spend in excess of $60 billion, accounting for 22 percent of the state’s
sales tax revenue and employing nearly one million Floridians. Since tourism helps us
all, it benefits us to be part of a fun event aimed at clearing up the misperceptions about
there being oil on our beaches so visitors know they can safely plan their next Florida
vacation.

What about the fishermen and others who lost their jobs and businesses?

They are precisely why this event is being held. The sooner Florida can correct the
misperceptions many potential visitors still have about the condition of Florida’s
beaches, the sooner the tourism and seafood industries can get back to business as
usual.

Is the oil spill threat to Florida really over?

While scientists continue to study the long-term impacts of the oil spill, the Department
of Environmental Protection – the state’s lead agency on the oil spill response efforts –
as well as the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services have all determined that Florida’s waterways, beaches and seafood are safe
for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Could I still see tar balls or an oil plume?

Despite all beach advisory notices having been rescinded back in August, the
Department of Health has said that because wave action and currents may periodically
bring tar balls ashore or expose small areas of buried oil within the sand, beach goers
may encounter weathered oil products and tar balls, and should avoid touching the
product. If people accidentally come into contact with buried oil product or tar balls,
they should wash the residue from their skin as soon as possible. Brief skin contact is
not a medical emergency, but can result in skin irritation if not removed.

What is VISIT FLORIDA?

As the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, VISIT FLORIDA
creates advertising campaigns promoting travel to Florida, operates the official Florida
Welcome Centers and develops guide books, maps and website content that assist
visitors with planning their Florida vacations.

What does VISIT FLORIDA do for me?

VISIT FLORIDA’s ability to successfully market the Florida tourism product and bring in
more visitors helps the state of Florida and all our residents by building and growing
businesses, creating jobs and providing family-sustaining wages. These efforts to
attract more visitors also generate increased tourist spending that provides funding to
help build roads, support schools and pay for vital programs.

Has VISIT FLORIDA received any money from BP?

VISIT FLORIDA did receive a $12 million grant from BP through the State of Florida for
a 6-week national advertising campaign that ran from mid-June to late July to boost
summer travel in the wake of the oil spill. With no plan for additional money to fund
further campaigns coming from BP, an event like the Beach Walk that draws national
attention to the current condition of Florida’s beaches is the best way VISIT FLORIDA
has to get the word out on a grand scale.

What is Share a Little Sunshine?

Share a Little Sunshine is an advocacy program launched last year by VISIT FLORIDA.
It is designed to activate Sunshine State fans to share what they love about Florida and,
in so doing, help the state’s tourism industry. State residents and fans are encouraged
to share invitations to visit Florida with out of state friends and family – forwarding the
idea of a Sunshine State vacation along with special offers. Share a Little Sunshine
also encourages Florida fans to share photos – and this summer that photo sharing
helped communicate that the state’s beaches were indeed ‘Open for Business.’
What does Share a Little Sunshine have to do with the Beach Walk?

The idea for the Beach Walk was a direct extension of the Share a Little Sunshine
program. Using social media channels to invite Floridians to walk their favorite mile of
beach, take photos and upload them to a website that will result in a real-time pictorial
story of the current condition of every one of the state’s 825 miles of beaches is pure
‘Share a Little Sunshine’ thinking.

What is Florida Live?

Florida Live is a section of the www.VISITFLORIDA.com website where real-time
photos, videos, webcams, fishing reports, blogs and Twitter feeds are posted by
Floridians as a way for visitors to see for themselves what’s really going on in the
Sunshine State. This transparent, honest, open information provided by residents
allows visitors to make the most informed travel planning decisions possible based on
constantly updated, real-time resources. The idea for the Photo Fest aspect of the
Beach Walk was an off-shoot of the Florida Live concept.

								
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