|2012 Florida Tourism Day Draws Record Participation|
The numbers are in on the 2012 Florida Tourism Day at the Capitol and this year’s event was our largest ever.
On Wednesday, the Partnership for Florida’s Tourism and six other statewide organizations hosted the industry’s annual Florida Tourism Day. The purpose of Tourism Day is to educate the legislature, media and Floridians about the importance of Florida’s tourism industry and the rationale for public funding. It serves as a platform to let our lawmakers know just how crucial it is for them to support Florida’s No. 1 industry.
The day’s activities included a briefing by the CEOs of the participating organizations, speeches from Governor Scott and other government officials, legislative appointments by industry representatives at the Capitol and concluded with a street festival in downtown Tallahassee. The key message of the day shared by tourism industry representatives was to urge state lawmakers to support Governor Scott’s recommendation of $34.9 million for VISIT FLORIDA’s tourism marketing efforts in 2012-2013.
As part of Tourism Day, nearly 300 industry representatives – over 100 more than in 2011 – from 35 counties around the state traveled to Tallahassee and met with more than 75 legislators and government leaders. The street party Wednesday evening, which drew well over 500 attendees, featured the band Southern Satisfaction and showcased food, prizes, mascots and exhibits from numerous members of the tourism industry and supporting organizations. In addition to the great music and delicious food, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association hosted a Florida bull-whipping demonstration and invited legislators to try their hand at cracking the whip.
Along with VISIT FLORIDA, the 2012 Florida Tourism Day hosts included the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the Florida Attractions Association, the Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations and the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, as well as Film Florida, Florida Sports, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Association of Museums, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation.
Last year was the fourth of four very challenging years for Florida’s tourism industry. We’re all very encouraged by the ongoing support of the Governor and Legislature in recognizing the fact that tourism is the No. 1 industry in our state and the quickest way back to jobs and economic development. The active engagement in funding and issues advocacy by the tourism industry is critical to our collective success in the months and years ahead – and I want to thank everyone who helped make this year’s Florida Tourism Day such a successful opportunity to share that message with our elected officials.
While Florida Tourism Day comes but once a year, VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing efforts continue year-round. We urge all Floridians to take pride in your tourism industry and to advocate for tourism marketing funding. To learn how you can help, please visit FloridasTourismCounts.
President and CEO