tourism

On a recent fall morning, a large crowd clogged the steps at one of Venice's main tourist sites, the Rialto Bridge. But on this day, there was a twist: it was filled with Venetians, not tourists.

"People are cheering and holding their carts in the air," says Giovanni Claudio Di Giorgio, who helped organize the march with a grass-roots organization called Generazione '90.

The carts he refers to are small shopping carts — the symbol of a true Venetian.

A hurricane that hit North Florida, the continued spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus and a horrific massacre in Orlando haven't slowed the appeal of the Sunshine State for tourists, according to state officials.

Tom Hudson

During the Great Recession, the cruise industry canceled or postponed building and introducing new cruise liners trying to conserve cash as passenger traffic was hurt by the sour economy. Now, those ships are entering the oceans and many of them have South Florida ports of call.

 

A series of explosions has struck at least five tourism-heavy areas in Thailand, killing at least four people and injuring dozens.

As NPR's Elise Hu tells our Newscast unit, no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. Here's more from Elise:

It was a landmark month for breeding endangered animals at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

The park recently welcomed six baby Galapagos tortoises and an Indian gharial, similar to a crocodile, representing the first time that either species has been successfully bred at the park. 


The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is inviting people to use a hotline to report algal bloom sightings. Florida residents can call in reports to the toll free number at 1-855-305-3903.

This follows a state of emergency in two South Florida counties because of blue-green algae.

There’s also a website: www.reportalgalbloom.com,  where people can report where and when they saw a new algal bloom.

Netflix

  The Netflix TV series "Bloodline" has added millions of dollars to the local economy and employed hundreds of people in the Florida Keys. But a study commissioned by the region's tourism agency says the bigger benefit is in tourism.

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

  Every year in late October, tens of thousands of people visit Key West for the 10 days of parties and parades known as Fantasy Fest.

It's the island's biggest event of the year, and it fills hotel rooms, bars and restaurants. But it also costs the city more than $280,000 for clean-up and policing.

How To Get Back Home After Your New Year's Eve Party

Dec 31, 2015
Walter Michot / Miami Herald

New Year celebrations will be take over South Florida hotels, restaurants and nightclubs as 2016 approaches.

 

If you had one too many drinks and don’t have a designated driver, there’s help. And here we tell you where to get it:

Rob O'Neal / Florida Keys News Service

  The week between Christmas and New Year's is traditionally the beginning of the busiest part of the tourist season. And despite warm temperatures up north, this year looks like no exception, according to Jodi Weinhofer, president of the Lodging Association of the Florida Keys and Key West.

Florida Keys Community College

Florida Keys Community College, the only post-secondary education institution based in the island chain, is adding two new associate's degree programs, in Hospitality and Ecotourism Management and in Culinary Management.

The goal is to prepare students to work in the area's dominant industry: tourism — and take advantage of that industry for internships and expertise.  

Fantasy Springs/flickr

The best selling rap artist once referred to as Mr. 305 is now a paid ambassador for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation. Rapper Pitbull is working on a music video showcasing the state.

Pitbull’s real name is Armando Christian Pérez. He’s a Miami native; his parents emigrated from Cuba. Now he calls himself Mr. Worldwide – since he’s become an international star. Pitbull’s more than 100 million social media followers make him an attractive partner for Visit Florida.

 

The Miami-based rapper will film his upcoming video for “Sexy Beaches” in Florida.

Lisann Ramos

If you drive on Gratigny Parkway this weekend, try not to get too distracted by the wakeboarders soaring through the air at Amelia Earhart Park.

They may be hard to ignore -- they're the best in the country.

Wakeboarders from all over the U.S. are competing this weekend for the Wakeboard National Championships.

The event is a county effort to offer a greater variety of activities at public parks.

American Black Film Fest Returns To Miami For Good

Aug 12, 2015
Ginny Gutierrez / Courtesy

The American Black Film Fest has announced its return to Miami Beach for its 20th anniversary next year. 

Originally envisioned as a destination event, founder Jeff Friday says the festival may be ready to settle down here.

Friday cited Miami’s “culture, logistics, and accessibility” as fitting the needs of the festival’s community, and as the main reason for his decision to choose the city as a permanent home.

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