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Ken Lawson: Governor Scott’s Historic $100 Million Proposal for Visit Florida Would Be A Game Changer for Florida Tourism

April 21, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Ken Lawson made the following statement today regarding the Governor’s historic proposal to fund VISIT FLORIDA at $100 million.

President & CEO Ken Lawson said, “Thank you to Governor Scott for supporting VISIT FLORIDA and the 1.4 million Florida jobs that rely on tourism. Funding our organization at $100 million is a game changer and will increase our ability to compete so Florida remains a premier vacation destination and record numbers of tourists continue to visit our state and support our economy.

“If VISIT FLORIDA is funded at an all-time high of $100 million, we will be better able to successfully remove the visitation seasonality gap that many areas of the state currently experience. Having the funds to ensure that Florida’s marketing efforts are ‘always on,’ we’ll be able to attract visitors twelve months out of the year. Also, instead of a focus on protecting existing market share, $100 million would allow us to begin new marketing campaigns in several key domestic and international emerging markets.

“I look forward to working with the Legislature as we enter the final days of the legislative session to explain the importance of a fully funded VISIT FLORIDA. We will continue to present to Florida Senators and Representatives the information on VISIT FLORIDA’s return on investment and the reforms we have made to increase transparency through an updated contract with the Department of Economic Opportunity. To put it simply, historic levels of funding for VISIT FLORIDA would mean historic success for Florida’s tourism industry.

“I am confident that the Legislature will agree that investing in VISIT FLORIDA at historic levels is too good of a deal for Florida taxpayers to pass up.”

According to Florida Legislature’s Economic Demographic Research, VISIT FLORIDA returns $3.20 for every dollar invested. This means a $100 million investment in VISIT FLORIDA would return $320 million in tax dollars to Florida.

To view the updated contract VISIT FLORIDA signed with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, click HERE. This updated agreement includes new contract requirements, posting contracts online, new staff travel procedures, new purchasing rules to improve efficiency, new ethics requirements, and public records training for all staff. By taking these steps, VISIT FLORIDA has made it crystal clear that the organization is accountable to Florida taxpayers.

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