Florida Tourism Celebrated at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Ray
850.224.2250 x255
Day of Event:

(Tallahassee, FL) – The Partnership for Florida’s Tourism is proud to present Florida Tourism Day on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at the State Capitol. Tourism and hospitality leaders will convene in Tallahassee for a daylong event designed to educate the legislature, media and Floridians about the importance of Florida’s tourism industry. According to preliminary estimates, 94.7 million visitors came to Florida in 2013, making it a record year for visitation to Florida and exceeding the previous high of 91.5 million in 2012.

Ten statewide associations are participating in the effort and will also be hosting a downtown celebration that evening. The event will be held on Adams Street between College and Jefferson Streets where musical group Low Flying Planes will perform live beginning at 5:00 p.m.  Food vendors and downtown restaurants will provide refreshments for purchase until 8:00 p.m.

The 2014 Florida Tourism Day hosts include the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, VISIT FLORIDA, Florida Attractions Association, Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, Florida Association of Museums, Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Film Florida, and the Florida Sports Foundation.  Members from across the state will be meeting with legislators throughout the day to ensure tourism, hospitality, and marketing programs are fully funded.

“The millions upon millions of visitors that take advantage of world-class hotels, restaurants and attractions here in the Sunshine State give billions of dollars back to our state’s economy,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “Tourism Day gives us an opportunity to talk one-on-one with legislators about the pro-business and pro-job initiatives that keep Floridians employed and national and international visitors coming to the Sunshine State. With support from the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott we aim to reach our goal of bringing 100 million visitors to Florida in 2014.”

“2013 marked the third consecutive record year for Florida tourism,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  “Given that we have the best tourism product on the planet, visionary public sector leadership from Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, nearly 1.1 million Floridians who provide exceptional service to our visitors every day and highly impactful marketing programs from VISIT FLORIDA and our destination marketing partners across the state, Florida is well-positioned to become the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”

“Tourism marketing through VISIT FLORIDA and our county tourism promotion agencies is critical to maintaining Florida’s market share within the competitive market for tourists,” said Robert Skrob, Executive Director, Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. “Florida must continue to fund VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing efforts as well as protect the current uses of the Tourist Development Tax to continue attracting more visitors and creating good jobs for Floridians.”

“Florida’s attractions industry is excited to join our partners in tourism to celebrate Florida’s unique position in the world, welcoming 94.7 million visitors in 2013,” said Bill Lupfer, President/CEO of the Florida Attractions Association.  “Tourism generates jobs for Floridians, and tourism will continue to add to the one-million sunshine state residents employed by our state’s tourism industry.”

The Florida Association of Museums is excited to be a partner in Tourism Day again this year and to continue to build on the successes of the past few years, with increased tourists and revenues for our state,” said Malinda Horton, Executive Director of the Florida Association of Museums. 

“This year Tourism Day will be more exciting than ever as we celebrate Florida’s record-breaking visitation numbers and tourism related job increases,” said Bobby Cornwell, President/CEO of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. “The Florida RV Park and Campground Industry is excited to be a part of this important event and is very thankful to Governor Scott and to all of our tourism industry partners who are dedicated to making Florida the #1 travel destination in the world.”

“Florida’s entertainment production industry is proud to participate in Tourism Day again this year. We are excited to have the opportunity to recognize and promote the overwhelming positive impact that tourism marketing, Florida movies and Florida television shows have in generating jobs for Floridians and bringing new money to local communities throughout our State,” said Leah Sokolowsky, President of Film Florida. “The strengthening partnership and symbiotic relationship between Florida’s tourism industry and Florida’s entertainment production industry is of great economic value to all Floridians. We look forward to doing our part to help our tourism industry partners achieve their goal of making Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”

“A recent economic impact survey showing a $43 billion benefit to the state which indicates the sports industry continues to prove itself as a viable economic driver for Florida,” said John Webb, President of the Florida Sports Foundation.  “Through the efforts of Florida’s 26 sports commissions statewide and the FSF Grant Programs, we have the opportunity to attract sports events that bring visitors to Florida, such as the 42 NCAA Championships recently awarded to the state between 2014 and 2018, and a College Football payoff Semi-Final game in 2015 and the Championship Game in 2017.”

For media inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Ray at 850.224.2250 ext. 255 or via email at ERay@frla.org. For the complete schedule of events on Florida Tourism Day, please go to http://frla.org/tourism-day.

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The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
FRLA’s mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s hospitality industry – which represents a $76.1 billion industry, 23% of Florida’s economy, $4.6 billion in sales tax revenue, and nearly 1.1 million employees, making it the state’s number one industry.  It is Florida’s premier non-profit, hospitality industry trade association. FRLA safeguards the needs of the hospitality industry, improves the business climate, promotes the highest levels of quality and safety for our patrons, provides legislative advocacy, and eases navigation of government regulation. The Association represents and serves more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org.

As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 94.7 million visitors in 2013 who spent $76.1 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.1 million Floridians.  For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates $390 in tourism spending and $23 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents.  VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs.  As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando.  To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to www.VISITFLORIDA.org or follow our corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org.

Florida Attractions Association (FAA)
Since 1949, the Florida Attractions Association has been the leading attractions industry association in the Sunshine State actively representing the collective interests of Florida-based attractions and the finest industry suppliers worldwide.  The FAA serves our industry’s interests through networking, government advocacy programs, marketing, professional development, and mutual assistance programs.  For more information, go to www.FloridaAttractions.org.

Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations
The FADMO serves as the single unifying voice for all of Florida’s destination marketing organizations, providing insight and direction as we enter a new millennium marked by an increasingly competitive tourism marketplace. Organized in 1996, FADMO strives to increase the overall effectiveness of Florida destination marketing organization efforts. Its stated mission is to provide cooperative action to enhance and encourage the growth of Florida’s convention and visitors industry through promoting tourism industry education, enhancing professionalism, facilitating the cooperative exchange of information between Florida DMOs, developing an awareness of legislative issues and unifying the state’s DMO industry through public relations. For more information, go to www.FADMO.org.

Florida Association of Museums (FAM)
FAM is the not-for-profit professional organization for Florida’s museums and museum professionals. The mission of the Association is to represent and address the needs of the museum community, enhancing the ability of museums to serve the public interest. The Association encourages excellence it its members by promoting communication through which its members share information and resources, effect legislation and promote support of museums. For more information, go to www.FlaMuseums.org.

The Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (Florida ARVC)
Florida ARVC is the leader in Florida outdoor hospitality and represents the interests of Florida’s RV Park and Campground owners and operators. We are deeply committed to serving the needs of our members and to promoting Florida as the best place in the world to camp and travel. Since 1964, Florida ARVC has served the Florida RV park and campground industry through strategic marketing, professional development, education, exclusive membership programs, and government and legislative advocacy. Florida ARVC promotes high operational standards, quality experiences and exceptional customer service for the millions of vacationers who camp and RV in Florida every year. For more information, please visit www.campflorida.com and www.farvc.org.

Florida Cattlemen’s Association
Florida’s cattle industry is one of the 15 largest in the United States. Centered around birthing and raising calves without much of the concerns that come with the beef processing part of the system, Florida’s cattlemen are dedicated to the preservation of Florida’s green ranch land. As a large industry within the state, cattle ranchers significantly support Florida’s interstate economy and provide jobs as well as beef. The cattle industry supports a vast network of associated businesses. These allies include (but are not limited to) feed companies, heavy machinery corporations and fertilizer manufacturers. This integrated web of economic organizations helps create jobs and business opportunities in Florida. Additionally, Florida’s cattlemen have been strong supporters of Florida’s youth and culture. From county fair displays to scholarship contests, Florida’s cattlemen have worked diligently to give back to the communities they serve. For more information, go to www.FloridaCattlemen.org.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services represents Florida’s $100 billion dollar agriculture industry, which generates over 200,000 jobs and serves over 47,000 agriculture businesses. Adam H. Putnam is Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “Fresh from Florida” is the Department’s flagship promotional program designed to boost the image of Florida agriculture and increase sales by helping consumers easily identify Florida agricultural products.  The multimedia campaign also helps increase public awareness of the importance of Florida agriculture.  The program provides an opportunity for Florida’s agricultural industry to benefit from a multi-tiered advertising campaign coordinated by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more information please visit www.FreshfromFlorida.com.

Film Florida
Film Florida is a not-for-profit corporation that provides a leadership role in Florida’s film and entertainment industries by representing a coalition of interests, including private industry, local film commissions, industry associations, educational institutions and labor organizations. Film Florida meets quarterly to discuss topics and issues that affect the state’s entertainment production industries, and moves forward to promote initiatives that will help to cultivate, sustain and grow the state’s entertainment production resources. Film Florida is closely connected with the Florida Office of Film & Entertainment, helping to craft the film and entertainment production incentives offered by our state. Its purpose is to offer to businesses and individuals the benefits of a statewide trade association to promote the creation of jobs in the film and entertainment production industries and to promote economic development and tourism. For more information, go to www.FilmFlorida.org.

Florida Sports Foundation
The Florida Sports Foundation serves as the Sports Industry Development Division of Enterprise Florida, Inc. The mission of the Florida Sports Foundation is to: Assist Florida’s communities with securing, hosting and retaining Sporting events and sports related business that generate significant economic impact and Sports Tourism for the state of Florida through the Foundation’s grant programs, legislative initiatives and Industry Partner service, recognition and development; Provide the citizens of Florida with participation opportunities in Florida’s Sunshine State Games and Florida Senior Games events; Serve as Florida’s leading resource for Sport Tourism research and facts; Assist in the promotion of targeted leisure sports industries in Florida; Assist National and Florida State Governing Bodies to promote amateur sport development through Florida’s Sunshine State Games and hosting events in Florida.  For more information, go to www.FlaSports.com.