Wednesday,  September 23, 2020  2:45 pm

Miami & Sunny Isles share what's new down south

Miami & Sunny Isles share what's new down south
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

Miami isn't just nightclubs, beach parties, and crowds of rowdy Spring Breakers.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau held a joint presentation with Sunny Isles Beach Tourism and Marketing Council alongside several hotel partners, including The Biltmore Coral Gables, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Cadillac Hotel Miami Beach.

This year, the city is setting its sights on promoting its distinct arts and culture scene. From taking in the fashion scene in Miami's design district, to dining out in Little Havana or Coral Gables, the tourism board is actively working to get Canadian visitors beyond South Beach.

Attracting sports fans from around the world is another key focus for GMCVB this year.

"We're going after a lot of international events to have them hosted in Miami," said Judith Patrón-Fernandez, director of sales, Europe, Canada & Asia, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We're in the final stages of signing a big 10-year contract with Formula One to host the races in Miami, and Miami also has a new soccer team, so we're hosting the World Cup 2026."

Another major change taking place in Miami right now involves the city's infrastructure. The Port of Miami is currently in the midst of a dramatic revitalization project, which will enable the destination to welcome even more cruise passengers than ever before.

"In November 2018, Royal Caribbean opened their brand new terminal when they welcomed the Symphony of the Seas, and that set a cruise trend out of the Port of Miami," said Patrón-Fernandez. "Norwegian Cruise Line also opened a new terminal last November to welcome their newest ship, which sails out of Miami as well. Virgin Voyages is also coming to Miami, bringing the Scarlet Lady and adult cruising, which is a whole new cruise demographic."

MSC Cruises also announced the opening of two new cruise terminals in Miami, and by 2022, will have a new selection of cruise ships sailing out of Miami.

Canada is currently Miami's fourth-largest source market.

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau works closely with Air Canada Vacations to establish partnerships and packages between tour operators and hotel partners in Miami.

It's also worth noting that due to a series of flight cancellations into China as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Air Canada Vacations has increased its sun capacity for last minute February and March departures with new additional nonstop flights from:

  • Toronto-Miami
  • Montreal-Orlando
  • Montreal-Fort Myers
  • Toronto-Fort Myers

More details will be released soon.

Explore Sunny Isles Beach

Located about 20 minutes from South Beach and the Fort Lauderdale Airport, Sunny Isles Beach is one of Florida's long-time favourites for Canadians, and a popular spot to explore on a pre or post-cruise.

With nine beachfront hotels (all family-friendly), and its proximity to the Port of Miami, visitors to the city have many options.

"We're an amazing family destination and most of our hotels have programs for kids," said Ibis Romero, executive director, Sunny Isles Beach Tourism and Marketing Council. "We also do a lot of weddings and events on the beach. Because the majority of our hotels are condo hotels, families tend to stay longer; there are all kinds of supermarkets and delis, and there's a complimentary shuttle that will take you out and about to get everything you need."

For adventurers, Romero notes the Oleta River State Park, which offers endless opportunities for hiking, paddle boarding, and canoeing and kayaking.

When there's a full moon, yoga is also a popular activity. 

"There's a lot to do in a small community," Romera said. "But people stay anywhere from one night to a month. We have everything from a five-diamond hotel to a two-star art-deco hotel, so we have something for everybody."

Currently, there are only two five-diamond hotels in all of Miami, and Sunny Isles has one of them— the Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach.

For more information on Greater Miami and the Beaches, click here!

For more information on Sunny Isles Beach, click here!

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