The Florida Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign in support of VISIT FLORIDA and Florida’s tourism industry. Florida’s tourism industry is a key driver of the state’s $1.15 trillion economy and despite largely closed borders to international tourists, Florida had a higher turnout of visitors in quarter two of 2021 than we did in the same time frame of 2019. VISIT FLORIDA’s aggressive marketing campaigns across the country promoting Florida as being open for business contributed significantly to this growth. Despite the setback of the pandemic, the Florida Chamber remains committed to the 2030 Blueprint goal of being the #1 state for international visitors. This makes the mission of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, better known as VISIT FLORIDA, even more important in promoting Florida’s tourism brand to national and international travelers.
Thanks to actions taken by the legislature in 2020, VISIT FLORIDA was extended until October 1, 2023, but is scheduled to sunset afterward without further action. SB 434 and HB 489 continues the existence of this key program through 2028. It makes fiscal sense to continue VISIT FLORIDA’S role in promoting Florida as a tourist destination.
“Tourism is one of Florida’s most important and foundational industries, and VISIT FLORIDA plays a significant role in attracting visitors, branding Florida as a tourist destination and signaling that Florida is open for business,” said Florida Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Wilson. “A 2021 analysis by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) showed that for every $1 taxpayers invest in VISIT FLORIDA, there is an estimated $3.27 return on investment to Florida’s taxpayers. For these reasons, the Florida Chamber fully supports VISIT FLORIDA and believes Florida should continue to invest in its mission.”
This bill is important to Florida’s business community because it:
- Maintains the state’s tourism marketing arm and promotes the state as being “open for business” to national and international visitors;
- Provides VISIT FLORIDA certainty and allows for them to better plan future marketing campaigns as the world continues to combat COVID-19; and
- Continues the partnership with small businesses and local governments that rely on tourists and the state’s marketing.
The Florida Chamber invites you to join us advocating in support of SB 434 and HB 489 to support VISIT FLORIDA and Florida’s tourism industry.