International tour operators are sipping on freshly squeezed Florida orange juice at the 2016 Icelandair Mid-Atlantic Tradeshow, February 4 - 7, in Reykjavik, Iceland, thanks to some brainstorming and a partnership between Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (Visit Central Florida), Ridge Island Groves and FM Tours.

Visit Central Florida’s Joni Allen has worked for many years with Michael Marzano, President of FM Tours, introducing him to Polk County tourism partners in order to join forces to attract international tourists to Polk County. Joni’s participation in annual travel trade shows such as Florida Huddle and International Pow Wow (IPW) has allowed her to cultivate strong business relationships with many major tour companies, including FM Tours. Her business appointment and follow-up with FM Tours, after Florida Huddle in 2015, resulted in FM Tours being introduced to Polk County tourism partner Ridge Island Groves, so the two companies could collaborate to implement a plan to ship fresh squeezed orange juice to Iceland for the 2016 Icelandair Mid-Atlantic Tradeshow, as a unique way to promote Central Florida’s Polk County as a world class tourist destination.

Partnership Results in Local O.J. Being Featured at International Travel Tradeshow
Partnership Results in Local O.J. Being Featured at International Travel Tradeshow

The incredible feat of providing “farm to table” fresh squeezed Central Florida Orange Juice from Ridge Island Groves to trade show attendees came to fruition after a great deal of planning by all the parties involved, but in the end they made it look easy. Following strict measures to maintain and protect the quality and freshness of their product, Ridge Island Groves harvested and squeezed their oranges just hours before the tradeshow, filling 800 bottles of liquid sunshine that were delivered to Orlando International Airport by Visit Central Florida staff and rushed across the Atlantic on Icelandair for delivery to their Reykjavik headquarters within 24 hours – to arrive on the tradeshow floor while the show was in progress. Specially designed labels on the 16-ounce bottles included the logos of Ridge Island Groves, Visit Central Florida and FM Tours.

Partnership Results in Local O.J. Being Featured at International Travel Tradeshow
Partnership Results in Local O.J. Being Featured at International Travel Tradeshow

FM Tours is the leader in Nordic travel to Florida and partners exclusively with Icelandair for its client travel. “Icelandair is amazing to work with,” said Michael Marzano, President of FM Tours. “They are creative, innovative, and challenge normalcy. It was excellent to treat attendees to farm to table fresh Florida orange juice from Ridge Island Groves. We recognize Central Florida as an untapped destination for our travelers and look forward to our partnership with Visit Central Florida,” he said.