Important – Action Necessary for VISIT FLORIDA

The House of Representatives Appropriations Committee will be considering the bill that eliminates VISIT FLORIDA (HB 7005) this Tuesday, February 21 from 1pm–3:30pm. If tourism marketing at the state and local level is important to you, it is critical that you take action right away.

Between today and Tuesday, the tourism industry needs you to focus your energy, your team’s energy and your entire tourism industry’s energy on the following two tasks:

1. Bring 10-25 people to Tallahassee on Tuesday at 12:00 noon. (Proponents of the bill will attempt to fill the room to shut you out, it’s important to arrive early.)

Meeting location: The Capitol, 212 Knott Office Building
Meeting start time: 1pm (please plan to be there by 12:00 noon)

You’ll receive a Tourism Works for Florida sticker or buttons at the meeting.

*** By noon on Monday, let me know how many people you are bringing from your county.

2. Unleash at least 25,000 messages to members of the Appropriations Committee members.

Talking points:

Eliminating VISIT FLORIDA would:

  • Cost the State of Florida tax revenue and jobs – just a 5 percent drop in visitors means a loss of $5.5 billion in revenue, $563 million in taxes AND 70,000 jobs.
  • Every 76 visitors to the state supports one tourism job.
  • When Colorado lawmakers stopped their state’s tourism marketing efforts they lost 40% of their leisure traveler market and within three years tax revenues declined $134 million.
  • For every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, $3.20 in tax revenue is generated (according to Amy Baker, Chief Economist, Office of Economic & Demographic Research).
  • In the absence of the state and local taxes generated by tourism, each Florida household would need to pay $1,535 to maintain the current level of government services

VOTE NO on “HB 7005."

I know this is a huge disruption of your week and life. Members of the House of Representatives will be hearing from supporters of eliminating VISIT FLORIDA, labeling it corporate welfare. If your industry doesn’t make their message heard, lawmakers will assume your community supports eliminating Florida’s tourism marketing efforts.

Thank you for taking action.

Stacy Ritter