|Wednesday, 10 October 2012|
|NORTHWEST FLORIDA REVEALS ITS SOUTHERN PERSONALITY|
|Dale Pusching discusses the laid back appeal of Northwest Florida |
Canadians have a tendency to believe that they “know” Florida and all that the Sunshine State has to offer. The region of Northwest Florida would ask that Canadians take a second look, according to Dale Pusching, representative, Resort Quest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals in North America.
|Dale Pusching, representative, Resort Quest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals in North America
“It’s not at all the Florida that you think of,” said Pusching of the region. “I was really blown away by what I saw there. It’s a very different part of Florida. It’s very laid back and you really notice the southern hospitality."
There's a local saying that states; 'the farther north you go in Florida, the more south you get.' According to Pusching, it’s that southern personality that really makes Northwest Florida unique.
“You just feel the pace. It’s totally not Miami or East Coast Florida paced,” she said. “In some respects, it’s like a step back in time. For example, when I was there I remember I stopped at a diner and it really was an authentic diner from another age. It was a lovely experience.”
Of course, with any snowbird location, the beach plays a vital role in the region’s tourism draw and Pusching indicated that Canadian travellers looking for sun and sand would not be disappointed with a vacation in Northwest Florida.
“More than anything, it has amazing beaches,” she said. “You can just walk for miles along these beautiful white beaches.”
The destination offers some 227 miles of white sand beaches which stretch from Pensacola to Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle. Some of its beaches frequently rank among the top in the world in Best Of... lists and pose more preserved and undeveloped coastline than anywhere in Florida.
More than 225,000 acres in the area are protected and maintained by national, state and local park and preserves, thereby creating a natural habitat for wildlife that is quite apropos of the region’s laidback appeal. The region’s eco-tourism sector is just beginning to be tapped but there is speculation that the region could develop into one of the U.S.’s leading eco-tourism destinations.
“I think it is an every market kind of destination: families, couples, snowbirds and they even have a spring break that’s amazing. It runs the gamut of everybody,” Pusching said.
She also said that there is a significant snowbird community that has already discovered Northwest Florida, but admitted that the region has not popped-up on the vast majority of Canadians’ radars as of yet, partly because of limited airlift.
“They’ve got three amazing state-of-the-art airports, but direct lift into the Northwest is zero,” she said. “But what’s really intriguing about the Northwest of Florida is that you can drive there in two days. It’s basically cutting down for the rest of the Florida drive market.”
Speaking with travel agents about the region, Pusching said that they have indicated to her that there is a market for the destination.
She said that as proof that the Canadian travel industry believes there are Canadian travellers interested in the region, Transat Holidays will begin offering land-only product options to Northwest Florida in November.
“With the Transat Holidays offering, because it is land-only, you can either marry it with flights or sell it to the drive market. I think it’s wonderful that we are starting with Transat Holidays on a land only basis.”
Transat Holidays features all of Northwest Flordia’s destinations in its Florida 2012-2013 brochure in the new Home & Condo Collection.
“[Northwest Florida] has a dedicated page in the Home & Condo Collection section of the brochure and we will be featuring six complexes with Transat Holidays, which are noted at the back of the brochure,” explained Pusching.
ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals properties are available through the Transat Holidays brochure. They include Tidewater Beach Resort and Seychelles Beach Resort in Panama City; TOPS’L Beach and Racquest Resort and SunDestin in Destin; and Waterscape Condominiums in Fort Walton Beach. Pusching noted that all of the complexes are individually owned and therefore are not timeshares.
The region also permits travellers the chance to do a double-destination vacation where they can combine the excitement of Orlando with the easy-going appeal of the Northwest.
Pusching believes the very fact that the destination offers something new and different could help in making it an easy sell to agents’ clients, who are habitual visitors of Florida but are looking for something they haven’t done before.
“It has fabulous restaurants, the seafood is very abundant, and they have the biggest outlet mall in North America. You have amazing military bases as well, including the largest air force base in the United States. It just has wonderful potential.”
For more information on Northwest Florida visit thebeachfla.com and emeraldcoast.com.
Jovana • 2012-10-16
|Dale's contact info is: firstname.lastname@example.org|
Claudia • 2012-10-15
|Please add me to your list of people who travel to Florida - in the 70s my parents lived in Florida 6 months of the year and I would visit - 80 and 90 traveled independently a few time, in 2000 - cruised out of or into Fort Lauderdale, etc
Claudia Csaby BSc MCC|
bsime • 2012-10-15
|it would be nice to have a contact to reach Dale. |
Jeniva Berger • 2012-10-15
|I've done that trip for a media fam and it was wonderful - totally different and relaxing. Beautiful scenery - the most ecological part of Florida. I did a very good article for Weddings & Honeymoons on North Florida. I would certainly go there again.|