[Tallahassee, Fla] The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association has issued the following statement from Carol Dover, CEO/President, regarding VISIT FLORIDA:
“VISIT FLORIDA serves a critical function of promoting our state, and the Legislature must act now to fully fund and to extend Florida’s marketing arm beyond its Oct. 1 sunset date. VISIT FLORIDA effectively promotes the Sunshine State to people around the globe, and I have seen firsthand how their work is vital for smaller communities and those who experience disaster.
“In 2018 alone, VISIT FLORIDA provided marketing support to businesses and individual communities who were hit by red tide, by blue-green algae and by Hurricane Michael. They provided grants and advertising matches to assist in disaster recovery marketing, helping to let everyone know our beaches, waterways, parks and businesses were open and ready to host them for the vacation of a lifetime. Further, according to the Florida Department of Revenue, bed taxes in rural counties have grown nearly 50 percent faster than urban counties since 2012. This is thanks to VISIT FLORIDA, who is so much more than beautiful advertising. They work diligently to promote all of Florida and showcase all of what makes our state so great.
“Gov. DeSantis recommended $76 million in his budget and today encouraged the House to take up the Senate bill to ‘let people vote up or down.’ He stated he does not support allowing the organization to sunset. Thank you, Gov. DeSantis, for your commitment to VISIT FLORIDA.
“I urge state leadership to take action now and help protect our state’s economy and the millions of jobs created by those who visit the Sunshine State.”