West Volusia has gotten a seat at the table in promoting the state of Florida’s tourism industry. Georgia Turner, executive director of the West Volusia Tourism Advertising Authority, was recently named to the Visit Florida board of directors.
The Visit Florida board is the governing body made up of Florida tourism-industry experts who provide guidance, input and insight into the state agency’s programs, processes and messaging. The board meets three times a year, helping to guide tourism strategy in the state, including attending the annual governor’s conference on tourism in Orlando every September.
Turner began her two-year term July 1.
“Tourism is the top industry in Florida, with hundreds of millions of people visiting each year, and it’s our job to make sure those tourists have an amazing time and keep coming back,” Turner said. “We’re very fortunate that Visit Florida likes our products in West Volusia, and this (serving on the board) will be a good way to educate the rest of the state about West Volusia and help the rest of Florida.”
Turner began her Florida travel and tourism career in 1988, working at the Daytona Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau as public-relations director and later as the director of specialized markets. While at the CVB, Turner helped to create Biketoberfest and to bring the Shriners International 2017 convention to the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.
She also worked for the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce as vice president of tourism development; was the media relations and group sales manager for the Florence-Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau in Florence, Alabama, where she grew up; ran her own tourism public-relations and marketing firm; and finally took over as executive director of WVTAA in 2016.
The authority’s mission is to develop and support marketing and advertising programs intended to bring increased tourism dollars into West Volusia, enhancing its image as a tourism destination. The authority works with area accommodations, tourism service providers, attractions and resources, and event promoters to represent the area to potential visitors, tour operators, travel and meeting planners, and the media.
Among the attractions within 14 distinct communities in West Volusia are parks, pristine natural beauty, historical homes like Stetson Mansion, the award-winning Wings of the West displays, and a vibrant Downtown DeLand with its award-winning restaurants and shops.
The authority also is a partner with the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce & Orange City Alliance in the Wellness Initiative Network.
“We’re promoting West Volusia as a wellness destination,” Turner said. “It’s one of our four key missions, along with outdoor recreation; arts, culture and history attractions; and a destination for weddings.”
For more information about the tourism authority, go to visitwestvolusia.com.