As directed by Governor Rick Scott, VISIT FLORIDA created a $500,000 emergency grant program to assist local tourism development boards in counties affected by the naturally-occurring red tide, which include Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Grant funds are to assist local tourism development boards with increasing visitation once red tide has subsided through advertising (print, broadcast, digital, social media or out of home), direct mail, brochure production, website development, as well as other related projects/programs.
Submission and Selection Criteria: Local tourism development boards (“Applicant”) must demonstrate that the program will directly contribute to increasing visitation to affected counties once the red tide has subsided. All Grant application submissions must:
- Identify the Applicant as a local tourism development board representing a county affected by red tide listed in Governor Scott’s August 2018 emergency order (EO 18-221).
- Detail marketing strategy and tactics, including target market(s) and audience(s), project goals, anticipated results, and a detailed description of how results will be measured.
- Give a detailed description of how the project funds will be used. Include an itemized proposed budget and detailed media plan. All grant expenditures must be completed by June 15, 2019.
Application Period: Applications for the Tourism Recovery Grant Program for Red Tide will open on August 17, 2018, and shall remain open until the red tide has subsided.
Requirements for Reimbursement
- Grant reimbursement requests must be forwarded to VISIT FLORIDA at grants@VISITFLORIDA.org within 60 days after the completion of the event/project/program, or by June 15, 2019, whichever date comes first.
- All marketing must include the VISIT FLORIDA Grant Logo in compliance with the Grant Logo Guidelines.
- All project costs must be paid in full. Copies of paid invoices and proof of payment must accompany the grant reimbursement request. Proof of payment must include copy of the invoices and a) copies of bank-issued cancelled checks b) credit card receipts with credit card statement.
- Grant reimbursement requests must include proof of performance for marketing elements outlined in the marketing plan.
- The post marketing plan is documentation of the media/marketing outlined to show what was completed, when it was completed, how it was completed, and who it was completed by.
- Proof of performance includes copies of advertising elements (print, broadcast, digital, out of home and social media) displaying the VISIT FLORIDA logo/tagline and any analytical reporting received, such as impressions, click-throughs, or distribution.
- Grant reimbursement requests must include ROI (Return on Investment) report that includes the results of your project/program/event.