Tourism chiefs coming to CK in 2012

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By Ada Lang

When the Levy County Tourism Development Council met on Nov. 18, Kathy Carver received a plaque from Chairwoman Helen Koehler that honored her and showed the Council’s appreciation for her perfect attendance in 2010.

A surprised Carver of Mermaid’s Landing Cottages in Cedar Key, said, “I didn’t even miss one meeting?”

Levy County Visitor Bureau Executive Director Carol McQueen, also announced at the TDC meeting that in October, she attended the Florida Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus annual meeting in Gainesville where it was announced that the group’s  2012 annual meeting will be held in Cedar Key. 

The two-day meeting will bring approximately 100 members together to discuss the state of conventions and visitors in Florida. The grup’s meeting will be held in Polk County in 2011.

Requests for information about Levy County come in on a regular basis to the Visitor  Bureau.

At the annual VISIT FLORIDA Fall Festival, held in October at the I-75 Welcome cente, 185 DVDs detailing the Nature Coast’s attractions were given to potential tourists. 

McQueen’s busy schedule  also included approximately 15 events, conferences or meetings since the end of September that are meant to foster awareness of the area.  The most important event took place over a four-day period and included two days in Cedar Key. 

She accompanied the Seafood Culinary Travel Writers Tour that began in Wakulla County, andended in Cedar Key with meals at five local restaurants that specialize in clam dishes. 

Additionally, the writers received a tour of a large local clam operation and a tour of leases. 

Finally, there was a glimmer of good news for the tourism industry in Florida. According to VISIT FLORIDA the third quarter of the year saw 18.9 million travelers visit the Sunshine State, a 0.6 percent increase from the same period in 2009.

Overseas visitors to Florida increased by 17.4 percent and Canadian visitors increased by 23 percent in the same period. Although domestic visits are down slightly, airports in Florida showed an uptick in flights and the monthly hotel occupancy was up 5.1 percent.