Visit Lauderdale Wins Outstanding Travel Marketing Awards

The ceremony was held last month at the New York Marriott Marquis. 

Visit Lauderdale, the organization responsible for promoting Greater Fort Lauderdale as a travel destination was honored with three awards at the 67th Annual Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards. The Adrian Awards recognize excellence in travel marketing, and Visit Lauderdale’s gold, silver, and bronze awards are a testament to its outstanding achievement in this field. The event featured a “WanderLOVE” theme. The participants were asked to present their stories of noteworthy marketing and public relations campaigns, ads, earned media programs, and digital and experiential experiences that kindled a passion for travel and inspired wanderlust in travelers worldwide.

Visit Lauderdale took home three 2023 HSMAI Adrian Awards in the following categories:

Gold President’s Award in the Influencer Marketing (PR/Communications division) for its episodic series Hidden in Plain Sight, created by the renowned artist Avi Ram. The series aims to showcase seven different destinations located in Greater Fort Lauderdale. Ram used an optical illusion technique to paint models in their surrounding environment, causing them to blend in and disappear. As the models were being filmed, they surprised viewers by suddenly exiting their concealed locations. The entire artistic process was captured on camera, including behind-the-scenes footage. The colorful videos were shared through various online channels, surpassing more than 83 million views and over three million likes across Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Silver Award in the Broadcast Integration category (Integrated Campaign division) for achieving exceptional exposure through its advertising partnership with Good Morning America. The partnership led to over 9.7 million impressions through linear TV programs, 73,100 additional views of the Good Morning America video segment from social media posts, and over $620,000 worth of added value advertising on local broadcast affiliates and streaming video.

Through live televised programming and additional paid media promotions, Greater Fort Lauderdale was positioned as the world’s most welcoming destination, with a strong focus on inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility. These efforts amplified Visit Lauderdale’s mission to ensure all visitors feel respected, accepted, and valued with wide open, welcoming arms.

Bronze Award in Group Sales/Travel Trade category (Advertising division) for its meetings campaign. With the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic in progress and a new convention center under construction, Visit Lauderdale was able to effectively maintain the attention of group, meeting, and event planners through a business-to-business brand campaign that showcased the quirky, cosmopolitan, whimsical, and sophisticated aspects of Greater Fort Lauderdale.

The effort was credited with helping Visit Lauderdale book 41 business events for 2023 and beyond, with 84,631 room nights on the books and an additional 41,347 room nights in the pipeline. In April 2023, the destination booked its first citywide convention into the newly renovated convention center and on-site OMNI Headquarters Hotel, valued at $5.4 million in economic impact. The campaign was also credited with successfully booking events through 2035.

“We are incredibly honored to once again be recognized by the Adrian Awards,” Stacy Ritter says, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “It’s a true testament to our determination to amplify the message of inclusivity and diversity in all that we do as a destination. We plan to continue this momentum moving into 2024.”

Greater Fort Lauderdale achieved substantial growth by surpassing the pre-pandemic statistics in 2019 and record-breaking progress in 2022, thanks to the impact of all three campaigns. Notable achievements include:

• A Tourist Development Tax revenue increase of 44% compared to 2019 and an increase of 2% compared to 2022.

• An increase in the average daily room rate of 29% compared to 2019 and 6% compared to 2022.

• A 44% increase in hotel revenue compared to 2019 and 7% compared to 2022.

For more information on this year’s HSMAI Adrian Awards, visit https://adrianawards.hsmai.org.

Photo credit: Avi Ram

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.