Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tourism game-changer for South Florida travelers & Fort Lauderdale-area businesses -but only if they're smart and start planning now. Ruminations on the upcoming Norwegian.com flights b/w Ft. Lauderdale and Oslo, Stockholm & Copenhagen, and the need for Broward's hospitality industry to take full-advantage of the opportunity; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden, @copenhagen, @denmark

Above, the State of Florida's classic 1970's national TV tourism ad that I've posted on the blog many times before. This spot ad was hugely-popular and successful, especially in the Midwest and East Coast, and was by far THE best tourism TV ad the state has ever produced. To this day, it still makes people smile when they see it or hear that catchy jingle, "When You Need It Bad We've Got It Good."

But in a much-more competitive travel marketplace than existed over thirty years ago, with so many disparate consumer markets, and different ways of reaching out to  prospective travelers, it seems to me that we need to see the state come up with something new that's just as compelling as this was. http://www.youtube.com/embed/OxB0kjqO6SI

Today I wanted to follow-up with some specificity on my blog post of this past Saturday, April 20th, which had some great news that some of you readers of the blog might want to take full-advantage of in the near-future -just like me- regarding a game-changing marketing move 

A move that will simultaneously make travel to a dynamic part of the world more convenient and cheaper, while also offering local Broward County-area hotels, restaurants and hospitality-related businesses an entrée to an affluent English-speaking tourism market -esp. families- that they have barely even begun to scratch: Scandinavia
Scandinavian Delight! Starting November 30th, fly nonstop between Ft Lauderdale and Oslo on Norwegian.com for as low as $238, or fly from FLL to Stockholm Arlanda for only $269, plus taxes and luggage charges; @Oslo, @norway, @stockholm, @sweden

A comparable round-trip flight on SAS to Oslo or Stockholm, even in Economy and made weeks in advance, is well over $1,000, as I know from experience in January.
Compare that to what Norwegian.com will offer starting in late November, with a direct flight to Oslo from FLL.

And coming back this way, with these flights, Broward is now much-cheaper airfare-wise, than flying from Stockholm or Oslo to The Maldives, a very popular vacation spot for Swedish families that's heavily-promoted, along with, of course, Thailand.
The latter is a holiday travel location that many Swedish families have been to so many times before that at least some of their kids are actually blah towards going there again. (Really.)

And since I neglected to mention it in Saturday's post, or so far today, you should know that Norwegian.com is the fastest-growing airline in Europe and has already placed orders for 200 new airplanes.

More at:
Norwegian airline prepares for global expansion
By Jorn Madslien, Business reporter, BBC News
1 April 2013 Last updated at 20:24 ET

Here are two photos from my blog of some travel-related advertising I snapped while I in Stockholm in January, and trust me, these display ads are everywhere you look. 
You literally can not escape them.
And that's in part because they work so well.
Especially when it's 17 degrees Fahrenheit and sundown is at 3:45 p.m.

The colder and snowier it got in Stockholm, the more this simple ad seemed like genius. Sometimes, you don't have to reinvent the advertising wheel. When you're a travel agency and it's cold and snowing, make your target audience think of summers and traveling to an inviting warm beach. Above, one of the many Sistaminuten.se display ads I saw on the side of pay phones throughout Stockholm. This one was located on Ringvägen, across the street from the Åhléns Dept. store (with the Hemköp grocery store in the basement that I visited frequently) west of busy Götgatan and the Skanstull T-bana, the southern commercial heart of trendy and fun Södermalm. January 11, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.
*There was recently a controversy with this ad campaign that I will be blogging about quite soon.  

Pictured: A Mom and her two kids sitting on the beach staring out at the waves. Only two blocks from the B&B I stayed at in the Södermalm area of Stockholm on my recent trip, the #1 B&B in the city, also located on Ringvägen were two other display ads promoting travel. The one in the distance is for SAS, which I flew on to Stockholm, and the one in the foreground, on a public telephone booth, is the "Holiday is where the Heart is" ad campaign for VING which started the week before Christmas. January 12, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier.© 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. 
Here's VING's very-popular "Holiday is where the heart is" TV spot: http://www.dagensmedia.se/webbtv/reklamfilm/article3607242.ece
Not surprisingly, this ad was in heavy rotation during morning TV news shows, so much so that I started hearing this jingle in my head by my 3rd day in Stockholm.

Here's more of VING's smart and attractive display ads: http://www.dagensmedia.se/taggar/?tag=Ving

As a friend who's a travel professional in Sweden explained to me, since I didn't know myself, flights from Oslo or Stockholm to The Maldives or to FLL are roughly the same time-wise.
But if you compare the costs of airfare using Norwegian.comNOW flying to FLL from Scandinavia is a ridiculous bargain, by hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and is a bargain that is multiplied by each person who flies here.

After being over there and getting a small sense of how things are done, my own opinion is that the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) needs to really increase their advertising and marketing dollars in Scandinavia and start working on some compelling co-op advertising with Norwegian.com that they can start running this Fall, before the twice-weekly flights start.  http://www.sunny.org/

It seems to me that we need to do this to make sure that the airline's strategy (gamble) works to everyone's satisfaction, and then at some point, they can increase the number of flights or days they fly between FLL and Oslo, whose still-new-looking airport is, in a word, sweet.

Since HB's beach is so woefully unattractive and poorly-maintained, the local postcards that I gave to some business people I met -and the new friends that I made- in Stockholm were entirely of Hollywood Beach and The Broadwalk.

Trust me, people I spoke to there in all sort sof places around Stockholm were very intrigued by what I told them about the area, esp. after hearing them relate some of the daily hassles they deal with when they go to Thailand and other tropical places.
They're looking for new places to visit, so why not our part of the world?

Savvy and enterprising individuals, companies and firms from South Florida to Sweden can now finally reach the affluent, well-informed and influential decision-makers in South Florida and beyond who regularly read Hallandale Beach Blog and its Twitter feed for the facts, nuanced insight and original analysis they can't get elsewhere, and do so via VERY REASONABLE advertising on the blog, at prices starting at just $85 a month. 
Contact me today for more details at hallandalebeachblog@gmail.com

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Hallandale Beach Blog

Hallandale Beach Blog
Hallandale Beach Blog/South Beach Hoosier's crimson-colored Indiana University cap. If you see someone at a South Florida govt. meeting or public policy discussion wearing this IU cap, scribbling notes furiously -and likely shaking his head in disbelief- don't be afraid to come over and say hello or pitch a prospective story idea. Photo by South Beach Hoosier. Move your mouse over the cap and you are sent to the IU Athletic Dept.'s YouTube Channel to see the latest on the Hoosiers.
Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
Some older elements and building blocks formerly seen at Hallandale Beach Blog, such as photos, graphics and videos have been moved into cold storage. Visit them again or see what you've missed at: http://hallandale-beach-blog.blogspot.com/
Unless otherwise indicated, all ORIGINAL photos appearing here were taken by myself. © 2014 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved. The use or modification of original photos or original images appearing on this blog WITHOUT the written permission of the author is expressly prohibited. DO NOT modify or alter any original photo/image on this blog and use it in any other media, whether for commercial advertising, marketing purposes, political campaign advertising, or on any Social Media platform or digital media forum. Do NOT modify or alter the photos or use them in a confusing way that suggests sponsorship or endorsement, or in a way that seeks to confuse Hallandale Beach Blog with another blog. This includes but is not limited to sites such as Dipity, Facebook, flickr, MySpace, Pinterest, Posterous, Topsy, Twitter, YouTube or VIMEO. Original photos and images also can NOT be used as avatars or icons on website forums.

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.