Florida Tourism at Record Highs; Empower Adventures is a Hot Destination for Visitors

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Florida Tourism at Record Highs; Empower Adventures is a Hot Destination for Visitors

During the first nine months of 2017, an estimated 88.2 million people visited Florida,1 an approximately 3.3% year-over-year increase from 2016's 85.4 million visitors.1 It was only a few years ago, in 2015, that the number of visitors surpassed the 100 million mark for the first time in Florida's history.1 Since then, Florida has broken the 100 million visitor mark and is trending towards doing the same this year, as well.1

Thanks to ubiquitous beautiful white sandy beaches and myriad fun attractions, many people find Florida to be a desirable vacation destination, making tourism one of the biggest boosts for the Sunshine State's economy.1 The recent devastation from Hurricane Irma's torrential rains and raging winds caused over $50 billion in damages, which could have significantly impacted the number of visitors and put needed tourism dollars at risk.1 However, Visit Florida made sure that families across the world knew Florida was open and ready for tourists.1

Winter and summer attract the most tourists to Florida.2 The winter season comprises mid-December through Easter, with Christmas week being the busiest time of year.2 Many of these visitors are sun-seeking snowbirds and students on spring break.2 "Florida is a go-to destination for visitors from all over—particularly at this time of year, when the weather is beautiful and there are so many fun activities for visitors to try out," said Joe DeRing, Empower Adventures founder and president. "We see a lot of people who are taking adventure vacations to overcome fears or to check zip lining off of their bucket list."

When it comes to overcoming fears, DeRing is no stranger to seeing guests fret over a fear of heights, only to enjoy the thrill of adventure just a few minutes later. One of the best things a person can do to get over a fear is to take one small step at a time and do that one thing that frightens them.3 With each action taken, a person's courage can build upon itself, and before long, the fear is washed away.3 As courage increases and the willingness to grow develops, the person's world expands, making anything possible!3

Empower Adventures offers exciting activities where visitors can escape chillier climes, conquer their fears and focus on having fun while doing something that takes them away from the doldrums of day-to-day life. The Tampa, Florida Empower Adventures location provides a guided zip line course with various unique adventures, including walking over a 200-foot suspension bridge, several zip lining opportunities, and chances to rappel.

DeRing finds that zip lining allows people to enjoy the beauty of nature while having a positive, uplifting experience that boosts their confidence and oftentimes makes their greatest fears simply disappear. "After the first triumph of completing a zip line adventure, many people can't wait for the next activity," notes DeRing. "There's a renewed appreciation for life and a feeling of accomplishment that they really can't find anywhere but here."

About Joe DeRing

Joe is a true American hero. Having served multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Joe returned from service seeking to use his leadership skills in a way that would allow him to contribute to society. Partnering with advisors Dev Pathik and Jason Clement, Joe developed Empower Leadership Sports in Middletown, Connecticut. Later, the team created Empower Adventures in Tampa Bay. The center and Joe's incredible personal journey from battlefield to inspirational adventure operator has now been featured on CNN, FOX, and numerous other media outlets across the U.S.

About Empower Adventures

Empower Adventures operates canopy tours, zip lines, ropes courses, and leadership development and adventure activities at its central location in Tampa Bay, Florida, as well as locations in Connecticut and Virginia (in the Washington D.C. area). At Leadership Sports in Connecticut alone, Empower Adventures has served over 75,000 guests since 2009. The company's goal is to help guests overcome fears in order to gain confidence and empower themselves; in the past three years, 10,000 guests have visited the Virginia Empower Adventures location, and only four did not continue on to the Tree Top Zip Tour.

Empower Adventures utilizes best-in-class techniques to train guides and offers the highest standard of safety protocols within the outdoor adventure industry. Empower Adventures provides a guide for each adventure group, regardless of size. The adventure center guides at Empower Adventures aim to provide customers with a powerful, memorable and inspirational experience which engenders a positive attitude and encourages teamwork. Outdoor adventure guides are specially trained to cultivate the creativity and problem-solving skills that are necessary to overcome challenges and develop leadership skills. Special team-building sessions are also available to facilitate bonding in any group.

1Nielsen, Allison. "Florida Welcomes Record 88 Million Tourists in 2017." Sunshine State News | Florida Political News, 20 Nov. 2017.

2Henthorn, Dawn. "Visiting Florida During an Off-Season Has It's Rewards." TripSavvy, 1 Dec. 2017.

3Marshall, Tess. "13 Tips to Face Your Fear and Enjoy the Ride." Lifehack, Lifehack, 30 Mar. 2012.

Media Contact: Karla Jo Helms, JoTo PR, 888-202-4614, mradmin@jotopr.com

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SOURCE Empower Adventures

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