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 trillion economy and has been the hardest hit industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The Florida Scorecard, there was a record-breaking 131 million visitors to Florida in 2019, and out-of-state visitors added nearly $94 billion to Florida’s economy. The Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, better known as VISIT FLORIDA, is essential in promoting Florida’s tourism brand to national and international travelers. In a 2021 analysis by EDR, for every $1 spent on VISIT Florida’s marketing efforts, the state received $3.27 back in tax revenue. Thanks to actions taken by the legislature, VISIT FLORIDA was extended until October 1, 2023, but is scheduled to sunset afterward without further action. SB 778 and HB 675 continues the existence of this key program and allows the corporation to carry forward any unexpended state appropriations into the next fiscal year.
“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. “For every $1 taxpayers invest in VISIT FLORIDA, there is an estimated $3.15 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.”
These bills are important to Florida’s business community because they:
- Maintain the state’s tourism marketing arm, promoting Florida as a place to visit to national and international visitors;
- Continue the promotion of the state as “open for business,” which is even more important as Florida recovers from the pandemic; and
- Continue 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 778 and HB 675 to support VISIT FLORIDA and Florida’s tourism industry.