|VISIT FLORIDA’s 2013-2014 Annual Report Now Available Online|
I am pleased to announce that the 2013-2014 VISIT FLORIDA Annual Report is now available online. This marks the fifth year we have produced the report in an interactive online format, with the opportunity to download a printable PDF version. The previous four year’s reports are also available. We hope making the annual reports available online, with links to more details through archived blog posts and other web content, will allow viewers to move more easily through the wealth of information on VISIT FLORIDA’s efforts to market the Sunshine State and serve as a thought leader for the tourism industry this past fiscal year.
While the annual reports provide a snapshot of the entire fiscal year, VISIT FLORIDA also produces a monthly Florida Tourism Indicators Dashboard. This document serves as a quick update for key stakeholders on statewide tourism statistics, including visitation numbers, employment figures and Welcome Center traffic.
The Florida tourism industry has much to celebrate. We have achieved three consecutive years of record visitation and visitor spending, 54 straight months of tourism-related job growth, more than 1.1 million Floridians employed in the industry and are the top vacation destination for domestic and international visitors, families, beach-goers, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials and African American leisure travelers.
Much of this success is attributable to the industry’s ability to constantly transform the way we market ourselves to the world. To this end, VISIT FLORIDA has undergone a massive re-engineering to maximize the impact of our integrated marketing efforts and improve the efficiency of the organization. We launched a new year-round brand campaign that resulted in record visitation and visitor spending, our redesigned website was named one of the 20 best tourism sites in the world, and our first-of-its-kind Google Maps project and Florida Beach Finder tool have generated more than 25 million views to date.
These transformational efforts have not gone unnoticed by the national tourism industry, with VISIT FLORIDA having received the inaugural Judges Choice award for best overall program by the National Council of State Tourism Directors and being named the 2014 State Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society.
The entire Florida tourism industry is grateful to Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature for providing VISIT FLORIDA with a significant increase in public funding over the past two years. This is a clear indication that state leaders recognize the importance of tourism and our industry’s role in strengthening the Florida economy and creating jobs for Floridians. It is also a strong endorsement of the industry-driven nature of our public/private partnership and our collective success in generating a substantial return on the state’s investment in VISIT FLORIDA’s cooperative marketing programs.
Thank you for your continued support and for all you do to help make Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world.
President & CEO