Florida is encouraging UK travellers to “take an adventure” in the state and extend their stay beyond core favourites such as Orlando and Miami.

Visit Florida has produced a video featuring local people reciting a poem to showcase ‘secondary’ destinations such as Kennedy Space Centre and Sarasota.

Chief executive Ken Lawson said: “Our average visitor from the UK spends 12 days in the state and spends $2,000 so it is an incredibly important market for us.

“Our message is for our UK visitors to think about the welcome they can receive if they extend their stay, as we find the experiences they have then will encourage them to return and explore even further.”

Lawson took over the helm at Visit Florida last year, when the marketing body was embroiled in controversy around its use of funds, including sponsorship of ‘ambassadors’ such as musician Pitbull.

But he said activity since had helped rebuild trust from stakeholders and demonstrated return on investment.

“We have had some crises such as hurricanes, and our ability to help these communities respond and continue to attract the tourists who are so important to our economy has shown our value,” he said.

“I can’t control the message to the world from elsewhere in the US, but I can control our tone of message and that is one of love and diversity. Florida is open and ready to welcome our guests.”

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