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Visit Florida puts advertising on hold due to Ian's damage

People stand on the destroyed bridge to Pine Island as they view the damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Matlacha, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. The only bridge to the island is heavily damaged so it can only be reached by boat or air.
Gerald Herbert
/
AP
People stand on the destroyed bridge to Pine Island as they view the damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Matlacha, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022. The only bridge to the island is heavily damaged so it can only be reached by boat or air.

Florida’s tourism-marketing agency has paused advertising as it crafts a campaign to offset the negative images of washed-out communities and damaged bridges from Hurricane Ian.

Visit Florida is finalizing a “recovery plan,” spokeswoman Leslie Pearsall said in an email. The pause came as tourist destinations in Central Florida have reopened after shutting down because of Ian, which made landfall Wednesday in Southwest Florida and then pounded Central Florida before exiting in the Atlantic Ocean.

Visit Florida in the past has similarly worked to offset negative media coverage from hurricanes and other issues such as the Zika virus and algae blooms.

While the recovery plan is devised, Pearsall said Visit Florida is also delaying the launch of its 2022 “Adventure Seekers Campaign.” The annual campaign, started in 2018, targets travelers seeking “less-filtered outdoor and nature experiences.”

The campaign, when eventually launched through social media and digital advertising in travel publications, will target people in urban areas including, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C.