[Key West, Fla] (June 12, 2018) – Today, Governor Rick Scott spoke to members of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) at the organization’s summer board meeting. In a speech focused on the significant gains for tourism in the sunshine state, the Governor praised FRLA members for their contributions to the state’s number one industry.
“No one moves to Florida without coming to visit first,” Scott said to the standing-room-only hospitality crowd. “Thank you for giving people great experiences, and thank you for giving people great jobs.”
Since Scott took office in 2011, the state’s tourism numbers have steadily increased. More than 116.5 million people visited Florida in 2017, marking a 44 percent increase from 2010. Lauded as “The Tourism Governor” by FRLA President and CEO Carol Dover, Scott has championed funding of VISIT FLORIDA, the public/private partnership founded by the state legislature in 1996 to market Florida to visitors.
“We are proud of the job Governor Scott has done in the last seven and a half years as his pro-business, pro-tourism efforts have had a tremendously positive impact on the hospitality industry,” said Dover. “Because of the Governor’s support for tourism, our $111.7 billion industry is now the number one employer in the state with more than 1.4 million employees. Governor Scott has set us on a path for a record number of visitors in 2018, and I am grateful for his leadership.”
Earlier this year, VISIT FLORIDA released tourism numbers for the first quarter. In the first three months of 2018, more than 33 million people visited the Sunshine State, a 7.4 percent increase over last year. Scott touted this number and challenged VISIT FLORIDA President/CEO to hit 125 million visitors this year. Lawson, who was in the room for Scott’s speech, accepted the challenge to a round of applause from the audience.
For more information on the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, please visit FRLA.org.