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VISIT FLORIDA Applauds Governor DeSantis for Prioritizing Florida’s Tourism Industry in the Freedom First Budget

December 09, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that he is recommending $50 million in recurring funding for VISIT FLORIDA as part of the Freedom First Budget. VISIT FLORIDA was the only statewide marketing agency in the nation to advertise its state for more than 6 months over 2020 while the rest of the nation remained locked down, and as a result Florida’s tourism industry is thriving.

As Florida’s No. 1 industry, Governor DeSantis has prioritized tourism as the foundation of the state’s economic recovery. The Governor has focused on keeping Florida open for business and ready for all visitors to be able to enjoy the many attractions throughout the state. Florida being open and able to welcome visitors enabled VISIT FLORIDA to capitalize on the pent-up demand in travel and establish Florida as a leader in the U.S. tourism sector.

Since August 2020, VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing campaigns have yielded steady quarterly visitation growth that has topped 2019’s, and continues to showcase Florida’s wealth of vacation experiences to travelers all over the world. While tourism in other states was completely paused in 2020, Florida was the only state marketing outside its borders for seven months, seeing steady growth in visitor volume each quarter. As a result, Florida is driving the recovery of the U.S. travel industry and has cultivated a strategic advantage that will continue to attract visitors in the future.

In 2021, Florida’s Office of Demographic Research reported that for every $1 invested in VISIT FLORIDA, $3.27 is returned in tax revenue, the highest ever calculated for the organization. The Governor’s recommended investment will allow VISIT FLORIDA to build upon the momentum it has created and further accelerate Florida tourism’s recovery in Fiscal Year 2022-23.

“Tourism is the beating heart of our economy, and Governor DeSantis knows that Floridians depend on VISIT FLORIDA’s ability to attract visitors to the state. Florida tourism has grown by leaps and bounds as a result of VISIT FLORIDA’s rebound campaigns, with overall visitation surpassing pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021. Governor DeSantis’ leadership and support have been crucial for these gains, and his budget recommendation will ensure that VISIT FLORIDA can deliver even more success for our great state in Fiscal Year 2022-23.” -Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO