Polk County's Visit Central Florida scores three awards at Florida tourism summit

Officials of VCF (Visit Central Florida), also known as Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, recently celebrated three awards conferred at the Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Orlando.

Officials of VCF (Visit Central Florida), also known as Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, recently celebrated three awards conferred at the Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Orlando.

VCF won two Bronze Flagler Awards for print advertising and promotional pieces and the event’s highest honor — the prestigious Henry Award — granted for website work.

VCF’s winning site, www.VisitCentralFlorida.org, went live in October 2015 following a year of careful planning and design, with the guidance of project manager Jessica Roberts and senior tourism sales and marketing manager Kris Keprios.

“This is a huge honor and the first time our website has ever won a Henry Award,” Keprios said. “We faced steep competition from some of the best tourism organizations in the business … and winning these three Flagler Awards is an honor that our whole team can be proud of.”

VCF Director Mark Jackson concurred, remarking that not only is the prize itself significant, but also that its status is influential because the site functions as the business entity’s official “storefront” portal — its chief connection point to stakeholders.

“Our new website is a powerful marketing tool and one of the reasons Polk County continues to break visitation records,” Jackson said.

Polk County’s hospitality industry aims to put “heads in beds” and make cash registers ring, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce said.

The conference is sponsored annually by VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing agency. Named for Florida developer and tycoon Henry Flagler, the Flagler Awards recognize top creativity, originality and effectiveness among entries annually.

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