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Friday, January 23, 2015

Discover Florida's Great Outdoors through the National Geographic Online Hub today launched its new online hub dedicated to the 50 best wild and natural experiences in Florida. The first 25 experiences — by land — are live today, and another 25 — by sea — are planned for launch in February. These are transformative travel experiences that are accessible to locals and visitors alike. The hub, at, is the result of a three-year partnership with VISIT FLORIDA to tell the world about Florida's great outdoors.

Content in the new hub will focus on the lesser-known experiences that Florida has to offer, such as vast state parks and outdoor activities for travelers. Beginning today, the online editors are sharing 25 of the best wild and natural experiences by land, through articles, photo galleries, travel tips, local storytelling and an interactive map pinning the top travel destinations. The experiences include interacting with animals, nature encounters and outdoor adventures, such as exploring geological wonders and pristine beaches, hiking scenic trails, camping in the wild and climbing a historic lighthouse.

“VISIT FLORIDA is proud to partner with National Geographic to showcase Florida's wild and natural landscape,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “The result is a stunning collection of images and stories about destinations, powerfully showcased in a way that only National Geographic can capture and that only Florida can provide.”

“Many travelers are acquainted with Florida's well-known theme park attractions, but we want to showcase a different side of Florida that many travelers have yet to experience,” said Andrea Leitch, director, National Geographic Digital Travel. “The state is home to a host of national parks, state parks, wildlife refuges and sanctuaries, and there is an abundance of wildlife to enjoy and outdoor adventures for travelers to take part in. We want to highlight the awe and wonder that exist within the natural surroundings of the Sunshine State.”


In February, the storytelling will focus on Florida by sea, highlighting marine life encounters, water sports and activities as well as great island daytrips. Experiences will include activities such as dolphin watching, and information will be provided on where to see dolphins in their natural habitat. Photo galleries will include treasures of the Florida coastline, such as shipwreck sites, coral reefs and best beaches.

In March, will launch a photo gallery featuring a curated selection of over 25 images of Florida from the National Geographic photo community, “Your Shot.” National Geographic also sent two photographers to capture Florida's natural beauty.

“To photographically capture the wonders of Florida, we used a three-pronged approach,” said National Geographic Traveler's director of photography, Daniel Westergren. “We sent National Geographic Traveler photography veteran Chris Bickford, as he is particularly adept at capturing shots where land and sea meet. But we also used local photographer Steven Martine, a Stuart resident, to gain that insider's perspective. Lastly, we're tapping into our 'Your Shot' community for user-generated photos to complete the photographic experience.”


As the Sunshine State's No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 93.7 million visitors in 2013 who spent $76.1 billion, generating 23 percent of the state's sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.1 million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA — the state's official tourism marketing corporation — generates more than $390 in tourism spending and $23 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with The Hertz Corporation, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Universal Orlando Resort and Disney Destinations. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, go to or follow our corporate blog

About National Geographic

With a mission to inspire, illuminate and teach, the National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. The member-supported Society, which believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world, reaches over 600 million people each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy. For more information, visit, and find us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

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