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Date ArticleType
4/17/2020 General
DISCOVER THE PALM BEACHES

DISCOVER THE PALM BEACHES HOSTS VIRTUAL INDUSTRY UPDATE DISCUSSING COVID-19
Debuts three digital resources raising awareness for educational and inspirational virtual experiences, restaurant support initiatives and essential lodging information

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (April 3, 2020) – Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, hosted its first virtual industry update meeting on April 2, 2020 to discuss the latest data resulting from COVID-19 and forecasts pertaining to the travel and hospitality business sector. There were 196 participants on the call, with representatives ranging from county municipalities, hotels, restaurants, attractions and other hospitality personnel. Information discussed included business research and forecasts, strategic marketing updates and proactive initiatives pertaining to group business.

In response to the increasing needs from industry partners and community stakeholders, three new digital resources were debuted:
1) Discover The Palm Beaches’ “Virtual Experiences” Landing Page
DTPB created a hub of virtual experiences throughout The Palm Beaches, for the millions of “armchair travelers” self-isolating around the world to mentally transport themselves to America’s First Resort Destination®. Among the virtual experiences available are:
- Scenic bicycle rides through lush trails and waterfront paths, including Palm Beach island’s world-renowned Lake Trail
- Museum tours, such as that of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, the former home of “Florida’s Founding Father”
- Animal encounters at Loggerhead Marinelife Center, which is situated on one of the world’s most densely nested sea turtle beaches, and Lion Country Safari, Florida’s largest drive-through safari and amusement park
- Underwater adventures that showcase The Palm Beaches’ diverse marine life and unique positioning as the closest place in North America to the Gulf Stream current
New videos are added regularly, and can be viewed at https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/virtual-palm-beaches.
National media outlets have shined the spotlight on The Palm Beaches virtual experiences shared on its social media pages at @PalmBeachesFL, some of which include:
Forbes - 20 Virtual Travel Experiences To Try
Southern Living - Join a Virtual Classroom at This Florida Sea Turtle Hospital
Travel Pulse - The Palm Beaches Offer Virtual Experiences Amidst Crisis
Recommend - Virtual Travel Experiences From The Palm Beaches
The Epoch Times - Virtual Voyages to Satisfy Your Wanderlust While Stuck at Home
The TV Traveler - Visit All 50 States With These Virtual Tours

2) The Palm Beaches To-Go
DTPB encourages its residents to support local restaurants by ordering meals to-go, whenever possible. Dozens of Palm Beach County restaurants and bars are still open for takeout, delivery or curbside carry-out. Additionally, local breweries have received temporary, government clearance to delivery beer directly to consumers’ doorsteps.
A running list can be viewed at https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/palm-beaches-go. DTPB makes daily updates to this landing page, where links connect directly to the restaurants’ websites for additional information and direct ordering capabilities.

3) Essential Lodging Accommodations
Hotels have been mandated to only accept reservations from “essential lodgers,” which includes 15 categories of individuals who identify as either healthcare professionals; first responders; National Guard members; law enforcement; state or federal government employees; airline crewmembers; patients; patients’ families; journalists; others providing direct services in response to COVID-19; displaced residents or visitors; persons utilizing hotels as transitional living arrangements; persons sheltering in hotels due to domestic violence; hotel employees, service providers and contractors; and individuals who, for any reason, are temporarily unable to reside in their home due to exigent circumstances.

The full list of Palm Beach County hotels open to essential lodgers can be found on DTPB’s website at www.thepalmbeaches.com/essential-lodging-accommodations.
DTPB is committed to serving as a trusted resource to the tourism and hospitality community. This virtual meeting marks the fourth tourism industry meeting pertaining to COVID-19, with the first held on March 9, 2020 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health – Palm Beach County. As more developments take place resulting from COVID-19’s impact on the industry and Palm Beach County, the accredited tourism marketing organization will continue to refine its strategies and communicate all updates with its stakeholders.

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About Discover The Palm Beaches Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit, accredited tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches,” which spans more than 2,300 square miles and 47 miles of pristine, golden beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $5.06 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $7.7 billion. Once recognized as a tropical escape for elite travelers in the late 1800s, America’s First Resort Destination® is making its resurgence as The Best Way To Experience Florida®, welcoming a record-breaking 8.22 million people in 2019. The Palm Beaches are home to more than 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, 160 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations. Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are also home to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), with more than 200 daily direct flights to 27 domestic and international destinations in the United States and Canada. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located next to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports, each one only an hour away. In addition, Brightline, soon to transition to Virgin Trains USA, transportation into The Palm Beaches from Fort Lauderdale and Miami is even faster and more convenient – with an additional connection to Orlando coming soon.