Miami is Where Worlds Meet, according to a brand new US $2 million global marketing campaign launched by The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, American Airlines and The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership.
“People today work hard and play hard,” noted William D. Talbert III, CDME, GMCVB President and CEO. “This campaign promotes Miami as the ultimate tropical, cosmopolitan tourism destination while showcasing our unique assets as a premier location to host meetings and conventions or to establish a business. Tourism and business often overlap and this collaboration capitalizes on that global trend.”
And the city’s list of assets – for both tourists and business people – is impressive.
The Miami International Airport (MIA) is renowned for its extensive air route network that stretches throughout the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. The airport now offers nonstop and direct flights to nearly 150 domestic and international destinations through 52 scheduled and charter passenger airlines.
The white sand beaches in Miami-Dade stretch for 33 kilometres, with the legendary Miami Beach alone measuring 11 kilometres long and 1.5 kilometres wide. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in Key Biscayne is ranked every year as one of the top 10 beaches in the country by Dr. Beach. And every kind of water sport imaginable is available, including fishing, boating, sailing, parasailing, kitesailing, windsurfing, kayaking and scuba diving. Golf courses and tennis courts also abound. Miami-Dade County is also the only destination home to two National State Parks: Everglades National Park and Biscayne National Park.
Miami Beach and the Art Deco District have the largest concentration of boutique hotels in the world, as well as iconic beachside resorts like the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc. Three Ritz-Carlton hotels, the Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, Regent Bal Harbour, The Setai and Conrad Miami are among numerous upscale properties that have opened in recent years, offering visitors a wide range of world-class accommodations.
Attracting the attention of acclaimed restaurateurs, chefs and critics, Miami is home to a breathtaking array of more than 6,000 serious and see-and-be-seen restaurants featuring cutting-edge design and innovative cuisine. Every August and September, the city’s top restaurants take part in Miami Spice, when scores of Miami’s finest dining destinations entice culinary visitors and residents with incredible savings on three-course meals.
Miami has been molding itself into a 21st-century Mecca for art and culture. The new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, for example, encompasses three separate performance facilities for ballet, opera, theatre and symphonic music, while dozens of museums, theatres and performance studios scattered across the county present world-class offerings. Underscoring Miami's growing stature as one of the world’s preeminent centres for art is Art Basel Miami Beach, which attracts the crème de la crème of the international art world to Miami each December.
Miami has become a red-hot retail destination – from the trendy boutiques along the pedestrian-only Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue fashion district to the Miami Design District, where dozens of interior design showrooms and home furnishing studios are open to the public. More than 170 designer boutiques and specialty stores now line Coral Gable’s Miracle Mile. Bal Harbour Shops and Village of Merrick Park are world-renowned for their collections of high-end retail shops, while several other malls and outlets in Greater Miami allow visitors to shop ‘til they drop.
Home to the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, NBA’s Miami Heat and MLB’s Florida Marlins, Miami-Dade County has emerged as an international sports destination. The Crandon Tennis Center hosts the Sony Ericsson Open each March, while the World Golf Championships – CA Championship brings the PGA Tour’s top players to the Doral Golf Resort & Spa the same month. Dolphin Stadium will also host the 2009 World Baseball Classic and the 2010 Super Bowl. NASCAR fans will want to check out the championship races at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In addition to the beaches, children of all ages love Miami’s Seaquarium, which gained notoriety as the location for filming of 1960s hit TV show Flipper and is now South Florida’s largest marine aquarium with a highly popular “Swim with our Dolphins" program.” Families also enjoy spending time with the rest of the animal kingdom at Miami’s acclaimed Metrozoo. One of the world’s great zoos, it recently opened a new 11-hectare exhibit, Tropical America, that features jaguars, anacondas, giant river otters and stingray touch tanks. Jungle Island, home to more than 3,000 exotic animals and 500 species of plants, is among many other popular family attractions in Miami-Dade.
And finally, Miami-Dade is now home to nine major cruise lines. The Port of Miami handles more than 3.7 million cruise passengers annually through a sparkling new, state-of-the art passenger terminal.
For more information on Miami, visit the greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.miamiandbeaches.com.