Travel talk: where the experts holiday

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Few destinations around the globe have won the hearts of British holidaymakers in the way that Florida has. Some 1.5 million Brits cross the Atlantic every year to enjoy Florida’s great weather, miles of beaches, superb golf courses (there’s 1,470 to choose from!) and, of course, the famous theme parks. Chris Thompson, chief executive officer at VISIT FLORIDA, spoke to CD Traveller about the sunshine state, skiing and safaris

Chris Thompson - President and Chief Executive Officer for VISIT FLORIDA

Chris Thompson -Chief Executive Officer for VISIT FLORIDA

Where do you like to go on holiday?
My home state – the sunshine state has much more to offer than theme park fun – or else skiing in Colorado which is famous for its Rocky Mountains.

Where did you last go?
Napa Valley, California. Napa is known for its wine industry – there’s more than 300 wineries visited by as many as five million people each year.

Florida has more to offer than theme park fun

Florida has more to offer than theme park fun

Do you know where you’re going this year?
I haven’t thought about it yet so watch this space!

Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why?
The Greek Islands were amazing.  The tourist brochures boast of endless summer sunshine, long sandy beaches, lively tavernas and ever-friendly Greeks – and it’s all true. Alaska also topped my expectations. It hadn’t been on my ‘wish list’ but I’m so pleased I went: it’s different from every other destination in the world.

Alaska - a destination with a difference

Alaska - a destination with a difference

Which destination do you wish to travel to but haven’t been?
Africa – I would love to go but I need to convince my family. A photo safari would be ideal.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
Florida’s biggest attractions are in the guidebooks and for good reason –  no trip to Florida is complete without visiting Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom which keeps evolving (The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is set to open later this year) and the incredible Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. But I would also recommend opting for lifestyle ‘add ons’. Whether you want romance, restaurants, beaches, off the beaten track adventures or b&bs, Florida can deliver.

Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom is a must

Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom is a must

How often do you go away?
Not enough! My family and I have week-ends away and twice a year we manage to take a big trip which can be anywhere from four to 10 days.

Who do you travel with?
For the past 20 years or so I have been holidaying with my family and extended family.  Collectively we’re always cutting out travel articles from newspapers and magazines that catch the eye which we keep for holiday inspiration.

Thanks Chris! Next month we put the questions to Visit Florida’s Chief Operating Officer, Chris Thompson, so don’t forget to keep clicking back.

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