About the Issue
In 2016 visitors to Florida spent $109 billion in the state. That’s billion with a B!
Florida tourism generated $11.3 billion in total tax revenue for state and local government, which is used to fund jobs like teachers, police officers and firefighters. In addition, revenue from those visiting Florida supports around 1.4 million jobs.
When California increased its travel promotion budget to $50 million, it saw a $32 billion increase in travel spending!
States that invest in encouraging travel see big returns. When California increased its travel promotion budget to $50 million, it saw a $32 billion increase in travel spending in the state! Michigan increased its promotion budget to $10.5 million and saw a $3.5 billion return.
If Florida reduces its investment encouraging travel to the state, many Floridians will lose. Without Florida travel, residents in the state would owe an additional $1,535 in state and local taxes just to sustain the current level of essential services. Even a 2% reduction in Florida travel would cost the state $2.2 billion in travel spending and $225 million in tax revenue.
What is at risk?
In the upcoming legislative session in Tallahassee, lawmakers are threatening to eliminate our state’s travel promotion authority, VISIT FLORIDA.
VISIT FLORIDA is our state’s official tourism marketing organization. Established in 1996 by the Florida legislature, it is a non-profit corporation that is a public-private partnership. Its innovative marketing programs attract visitors to our state from all over the country and the globe, affording our state the capability to compete in the global traveler market so travelers choose Florida to spend their vacation or hold their business gatherings.
Our state’s longtime support of VISIT FLORIDA, hailed by Democrats and Republicans since its inception, has delivered a huge return on investment for Floridians, travel employees, and small business owners up and down the state.
Our elected officials must hear from you, travel employees, so when they go to Tallahassee to represent you and our industry this year, they know they are making the right decisions for our future, and for Florida’s future.
Why is travel promotion important?
Because travel promotion works, and VISIT FLORIDA maintains an incredible record of driving growth in visitor spending.
States that cultivate a brand through effective travel promotion attract visitors whose spending create jobs for its residents and generate tax revenue.
Travel promotion marketing improves our state’s perception, which accelerates business and workforce development, infrastructure improvements, real estate purchases, even population growth. Before families book a vacation or meeting planners decide where to host a convention, or before homebuyers contemplate buying a second home or high schools graduates consider where to attend college – first, it has to occur to them to visit.
That’s why travel promotion, and VISIT FLORIDA, get the job done. The facts speak for themselves –
What if VISIT FLORIDA is eliminated or sees less support from our elected officials?
It won’t surprise you to learn that other neighboring states and destinations throughout the U.S. have great beaches, coastlines, amusements, restaurants, and world-class hotels – just like we do.
So if we disarm and mothball our state’s marketing efforts, other states will surely seize the opportunity. Thankfully, other states have made this tragic mistake prior to today, and we can learn from them.
What can I do to help?
I’m glad you asked!
If you work in the Florida travel industry, we want to share your story!
Contact your Florida legislators and insist that they maintain the travel promotion budget. For help, check out our advocacy toolkit.