VISIT FLORIDA first launched the Florida Beach Finder online search tool in 2014 as a way to showcase the state’s beaches to visitors from around the globe. Here’s how it works: Visitors can “tune” their preferences in four ranges of beach personalities. Looking for action-packed, secluded or maybe somewhere in between? The Florida Beach Finder immediately delivers visual choices that best match users’ desires. With every tweak of the tuner, the options change before their eyes.
Next, they can “walk” the Florida beaches they love with immersive Street View imagery in Google Maps. In one of the first partnerships of the Street View Trekker Loan Program, VISIT FLORIDA and Google collaborated to train and equip our local teams with their high-tech, 40-pound, backpack-mounted, 360-degree panoramic camera. Over the four months of the project, these teams took nearly 15 million pictures as they trekked Florida’s 825 miles of beaches. The same technology that lets viewers mouse around their city streets and tour monuments now empowers Florida beach lovers to view the sand, sky and shorelines of the beaches they choose to explore – all in 360-degree panorama. To date, the Florida Beach Finder has attracted more than 260 million views on Google and VISITFLORIDA.com.
The success of the Florida Beach Finder prompted VISIT FLORIDA to create another finder on the TripTuner platform which launched in May – this time featuring the state’s unique and diverse attractions. Similar to the Beach Finder, the Florida Attractions Finder has four separate settings that can be adjusted depending on the user’s vacation preferences: from thrill to chill, popular to hidden gem, high-tech to natural, and days to hours.
The interface then matches the user with an attraction, which could be an internationally recognized theme park or an off-the-beaten path experience. Point-of-view videos send users careening and diving on the newest roller coasters, zip-lining over alligators or skimming the Everglades aboard an airboat. Whether visitors are looking for a first-time Florida experience or wishing to repeat their favorite Florida vacation moment, the Florida Attractions Finder puts the power of discovery in the user’s hands.
The goal of the Finders is two-fold – to give people an immersive and highly-visual sampling of Florida’s diverse offerings and entice them to experience it for themselves by planning the exact vacation they’ve always wanted.
Stay tuned, VISIT FLORIDA hopes to create additional Finders that will showcase Florida’s wide array of dining and lodging options.