TALLAHASSEE, Fla., Jan. 23 – AAHOA and members of Florida’s hospitality industry convened in Tallahassee on Wednesday for the annual Florida Tourism Day to highlight the industry and its impact on the state’s economy. As hoteliers met with their lawmakers, the reauthorization of Visit Florida, the state’s successful tourism marketing corporation, topped the agenda.
A 2019 report by the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research stated that potential losses in the state’s tourism-related revenue pose the greatest risk to the state’s economic outlook. Currently, the strength of Florida’s tourism industry compensates for slowdowns in other sectors of the state’s economy, and reauthorizing Visit Florida could help maintain a steady stream of visitors to the state. The travel and tourism industry supports 1.5 million jobs in Florida and is a vital economic contributor in communities across the state.
“Visit Florida is key to showcasing all that the state has to offer and driving visitors to Florida. Every dollar the state invests in Visit Florida generates $2.15 in tax revenue. This is a proven program that will continue to help Florida businesses thrive, and we urge the legislature to reauthorize it through 2028,” said AAHOA President and CEO Cecil Staton.
AAHOA members welcomed Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Mel Ponder, the House sponsor of the Visit Florida reauthorization bill (H.B. 213), to an AAHOA Town Hall event Tuesday night. The Governor addressed hoteliers and members of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and highlighted his administration’s priorities for advancing small businesses, such as hotels, that play a crucial role in the state’s travel and tourism industry.