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67 Days of Smiles to give Orlando tourism a boost

Jul 28, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. - Tourism is down about 8 percent worldwide.

According the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Central Florida is in that range, but a special promotion is underway to boost what people know and love about Orlando.

Ten pairs of finalists were in boot camp Monday at Sky Venture Indoor skydiving in Orlando for 67 Days of Smiles - the worldwide search to find a pair to experience all there is to do in Orlando for 67 days.

"This is a great opportunity to come here give Orlando some positive publicity and spend some time with my great friend Renee, so why not?" Nabavi Oliver of Jacksonville said.

Neighbors April and Melissa from Hollywood, Fla., are currently out of work.

"Well, I saw it online. We're not working so why not get a job in Orlando?" April Bonilla of Hollywood said.

"We're trying to create that drama and some intrigue to pull people in while telling everybody about Orlando," participant Melissa Casey said.

They're already blogging. So are Rommy and her cousin Tanja.

"I just think Orlando is a great place to have fun. She always says it's like the Vegas for families," Tanja Hoehn of Germany said.

The Visitors' Bureau said it's an innovative way to promote tourism.

"It's going to be married with our Free for Fall deals, so we think it's really going to be a homerun for the destinations," Chief Marketing Officer Danielle Saba said.

The final pair will be chosen sometime next week. They'll receive $25,000 to cover all of their expenses -- not to mention all the spas, all the themes parks, all the excitement that central Florida has to offer for 67 days.

The pair of finalist will start their journey on Aug. 26.

67 Days of Smiles to give Orlando tourism a boost
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