Tourism Department wins industry award

Tourism Department recognized for Social Media Campaign at Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism

ARCADIA, FL – September 17, 2018 – The DeSoto County Tourism Development Department, branded as Discover DeSoto, ( was presented with a 2018 Flagler Award at the Florida Governor’s Conference, earlier this month in Orlando.

Michael Taber, the county’s economic and tourism development specialist, accepted the Silver Award on behalf of the DeSoto County Tourism Development Council for the Discover DeSoto "Open for Business" Sweepstakes in the Rural County Marketing Category.

The award was presented after Discover DeSoto successfully completed a recent social media sweepstakes as a way to help businesses get back on their feet after Hurricane Irma. The tourism industry took a major hit, affecting several business’ bottom line for weeks after the storm. As a way to provide a jump start to the industry, Discover DeSoto staff organized the sweepstakes in the fall of 2017 to generate awareness as well as to highlight key attractions and accessibility for weekend trips. DeSoto County wanted visitors to know that they were once again “Open for Business.” The results of the sweepstakes surpassed all expectations. The campaign reached over 500,000 people and generated hundreds of entries. 539,427 impressions were generated during the 42-day campaign, exceeding the goal by 215 percent.

The 2018 Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism (GC18) is one of VISIT FLORIDA’s annual signature events and the premier educational conference for the Florida tourism industry. The Conference brings together the tourism industry, state leaders, advertising agencies and travel experts to explore the latest trends and opportunities for the industry.

About Discover DeSoto

The DeSoto County Tourism Development Department (DCTDD) is responsible for a tourism marketing program integrating print, TV, radio, social media, digital marketing and relationship networking mediums to achieve interest and good impressions of our area. The department provides technical assistance for tourism related business, promotes DeSoto County and the City of Arcadia as a tourist destination, and builds/maintains the marketing brand Discover DeSoto. DCTDD is a department of DeSoto County Government 

Mike Taber with 2018 Flagler Award