If you share a name with someone, you might as well show them some southern hospitality!
The city of Tampa, Florida has a population of about 3 million people, making it the 18th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Conversely, the town of Tampa, Kansas, has a population of about 108 people, depending on the day. The midwestern town is so tiny, their much larger sister city decided to invite them for a visit.
In a first-ever collaboration between Visit Tampa Bay, the Florida city’s tourism marketing agency, and Southwest Airlines, every single resident of Tampa, Kansas was invited to fly for free to Tampa, Florida, for a three-night complimentary stay. Unsurprisingly, almost everyone said yes!
On December 5th, 95 Kansas residents arrived at the Tampa International Airport on board two different Southwest flights. This was the first flight for many of the 30 children on board.
The Tampa folks from Kansas were greeted at the airport by Tampa, Florida residents holding up signs welcoming them to the Bay area.
While in Florida, they stayed for three nights in the Floridian Hotel and enjoyed fun-packed days at Busch Gardens and ZooTampa at Lowry Park.
The visitors were also trated to Tampa Riverwalk Attraction Passes to visit up to eight attractions downtown. Some families went to the Florida Aquarium, others visited the Tampa Museum of Art, and other families spent the day at the Glazer Children’s Museum.
“We want to welcome our Kansas cousins for what is sure to be the trip of a lifetime,” stated TPA Executive Vice President for Marketing and Communications Chris Minner. “TPA is proud to be able to give this group its first impression of not just our Tampa, but the entire Tampa Bay region.”
Who turns down a free Florida vacation? We guess you’ll have to ask the handful of people who stayed behind in Tampa, Kansas! We’re so glad the rest of the town got to visit their sister city and thaw out for a few days.
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