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Gov. Scott Recommends $76 Million for VISIT FLORIDA in 2017-2018 Budget

By on January 31st, 2017 — 2:58pm

Fighting for Florida's Future budget logoToday, Governor Rick Scott released his 2017-2018 “Fighting for Florida’s Future” budget.  I am pleased to share that the Governor recommended a $76 million investment in VISIT FLORIDA.  Through this budget allocation, VISIT FLORIDA and our local tourism marketing partners will continue to promote the state’s diverse destinations to visitors across the globe, creating jobs and generating vital state and local tax revenue that benefit all Floridians.

On behalf of the statewide tourism industry, I would like to thank the Governor for his strong leadership and his recognition of VISIT FLORIDA’s ability to deliver a significant return on the state’s investment in tourism marketing.  With a renewed focus on transparency and accountability, VISIT FLORIDA is committed to realizing our vision of establishing Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world.

Here are the reactions of key tourism industry leaders to today’s announcement:

William Talbert, Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors and President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
“Through the vision of Governor Scott, supported by increased funding from the Legislature over the past several years, Florida achieved record tourism in 2015 welcoming more than 106 million visitors who spent nearly $109 billion, supporting 1.4 million industry jobs.  Increasing visitation and visitor spending helps everyone, providing vital sales tax revenue, on-going job creation and the opportunity to showcase the state to future business owners and residents.  VISIT FLORIDA leverages state funding with matching industry expenditures to maximize the impact of those dollars.”

Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and VISIT FLORIDA board member
“It is clear that Governor Scott is ready to build on the successes of Florida’s hospitality and tourism industry by committing the necessary dollars to VISIT FLORIDA that will create jobs and generate revenue for the state.  He is a true advocate for the more than 1.4 million Floridians who work to create wonderful guest experiences and under his leadership the state’s No. 1 industry will continue to be a leading job creator.”

Maryann Ferenc, President & CEO of Mise en Place Hospitality Group in Tampa Bay and Vice Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors
“Governor Scott’s support of VISIT FLORIDA has resonated throughout the state, resulting in five consecutive years of record-breaking tourism.  New careers have been created in the smallest to the largest tourism businesses, from hourly staff to general managers.  Increased tourism-related taxes are fueling our state’s ability to attract even more business and leisure visitors resulting in additional jobs.  Thanks to the Governor’s vision, VISIT FLORIDA–and those of us who make up their more than 12,000 destination marketing partners–will continue to advance the interests of all Floridians, creating a sense of place for visitors and residents alike.”

Carlos Gazitua, President & CEO of Sergio’s Restaurants in Miami and VISIT FLORIDA board member
“With a demonstrated return on investment of more than $3 in revenue to Florida taxpayers for every dollar they devote, tourism is a great investment in Florida’s future.  With the best tourism product in the world and the continued collaboration of the Governor, the Florida Legislature and the private sector, Florida is poised to become the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”

Ken Lawson
President & CEO
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