Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed SB 434, a PCF Chamber-backed bill that would extend VISIT FLORIDA in statute through October 1, 2028. This bill brings much needed certainty to the state’s tourism marketing organization and is a win for Florida’s tourism industry that relies on VISIT FLORIDA to help attract the more than 122 million visitors to our state each year. Tourists account for nearly $100 billion in consumer spending in Florida and for every dollar the state spends on VISIT FLORIDA, an addition $3.27 has been returned to the state economy.
Florida’s tourism industry is a key driver of the state’s $1.23 trillion economy and a big reason why we remain an income tax-free state. In the last two quarters, and despite the lack of typical influx of international visitors due to an ever-evolving pandemic, Florida had a higher turnout of visitors than we did in the same time frame of 2019.
VISIT FLORIDA’s aggressive marketing campaigns across the country promoting Florida as being open for business have contributed significantly to this growth. Despite the setback of the pandemic, the Florida Chamber remains committed to the 2030 Blueprint goal of Florida being the #1 state for international visitors. This makes the mission of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation, better known as VISIT FLORIDA, even more important in promoting Florida’s tourism brand to national and international travelers.
VISIT FLORIDA has $50 million in state funding appropriated in the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget. This budget, which takes effect on July 1, 2022, has not yet been sent to the Governor. VISIT FLORIDA funding was included in the Governor’s initial budget proposal and it’s expected this funding will remain intact during the Governor’s line-item veto process.