“On behalf of local tourism promotion agencies across the state, we call on the Florida House of Representatives to reauthorize and fully fund VISIT FLORIDA.
Through our partnerships with VISIT FLORIDA and the matching dollars they provide, we have been able to work together to promote our state and communities to potential visitors in a highly competitive market. Last year, Florida welcomed a record 126.1 million visitors. This is in spite of misperceptions and repeated negative media coverage related to red tide, algae and hurricane recovery that could have left many of our potential visitors believing Florida’s travel destinations were closed for business.
Florida must continue to promote our travel offerings. More than a fifth of all the sales tax revenue generated in Florida is attributed to tourism. Not only does this industry fund a significant portion of our state’s budget, it puts 1.4 million people to work, keeps more money in their pockets and helps pay for services that improve every Floridian’s quality of life.
Reauthorizing VISIT FLORIDA and funding it at its current level of $76 million – a small percentage of the state’s overall budget – returns $2.15 to taxpayers for every dollar invested. These dividends are the lifeblood of our state and local economies. We ask that the Florida House of Representatives invest in Florida’s future by investing in VISIT FLORIDA.”