Florida has had an interesting past few years. From Zika and Zombies, to wildfires, hurricanes and resignations, Governor Rick Scott has had little time to rest on laurels, especially considering his uneasy place in the polls. So in an effort to revitalize the state, his standing and the local tourism industry, Scott started in announcing that he’d like to spend $100 million this year with Visit Florida – the state’s tourism marketing agency.
This week, Scott told local reporters, “My goal is to spend $100 million to market our state…When we invest in Visit Florida it helps us grow our economy.” The problem with Scott’s proposed spending is it seems the State Senate and State House have much different ideas for the budget. Both passed bills last week, with the House spending at $25 million and the Senate $76 million – both are working on finding a resolution.
The primary reason Scott is so gung ho about investing more with the State tourism marketing agency is simple: dollars and cents. He noted that
for every dollar spent on marketing the state, $3.20 comes back in the form of tourism related revenue. In 2016, the state of Florida, per Scott, had around 113 million tourists. You do the math, and $361.6 million in revenue is the result.
While issues arose in years past with the Sunshine state’s marketing agency, the days of Pit Bull publically announcing the terms of his secret contract to promote the state’s “Sexy Beaches” should be well in rear view mirror. Policies are now in place to promote transparency and more open procedures, so the public can stay in tune with Visit Florida’s practices.
Budget issues are looming in the state, and Scott is seeking to go back to the tourism well, which has for years treated the state well. Some say instate quality of life is the budget spending issue, others have simply lost faith in the much maligned Governor, but Scott’s logic is sound. As long as the state’s beaches stay beautiful, that lovable little mouse and his compatriots continue to warm hearts and minds, and the sun continues to shine, the sunshine state should stay Scott’s course.
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