March 24, 2018

News Release

CEO of Visit Florida makes case why defunding agency will cost Florida thousands of jobs

| 4/26/2017

Ken Lawson, CEO of Visit Florida, makes a case why defunding the agency will cost Florida thousands of jobs. Below is a letter he sent to Visit Florida members:

It is now time for action! It's time for you and your employees to pick up the phone and call Legislators for a fully funded VISIT FLORIDA.

Governor Scott has been a champion for the tourism industry since day one, and it's time for us to help him in this fight.

Throughout the legislative session, you have stood with us to save VISIT FLORIDA and protect the 1.4 million jobs that the tourism industry represents. Right now, the Florida House and Senate are working to craft a budget that could cut VISIT FLORIDA's funding by up to 67 percent, severely limiting our ability to successfully bring visitors to our state. This would decrease tourism and visitor spending and would harm your business. If VISIT FLORIDA isn't fully funded, we would be forced to shutter programs that help businesses like yours.

This is unacceptable and will cost Florida thousands of jobs.

VISIT FLORIDA has already put significant transparency measures into place that will help us be better stewards of taxpayer dollars. Here is a copy of the updated contract we've signed to increase transparency and accountability at VISIT FLORIDA. Here's a copy of talking points about the importance of VISIT FLORIDA. Visit to find out more information.

Please reach out to the House and Senate to tell them that VISIT FLORIDA needs to be fully funded at $100 million. We need you to call the Florida Legislative Leadership NOW. This is not a time to stay quiet. It's time to speak up so your business does not lose the benefit VISIT FLORIDA provides to your bottom line.

Now is the time for action. Please tell the following members of the Legislature to stand with Governor Scott to fully fund VISIT FLORIDA.

Florida Senate President Joe Negron
(850) 487-5229

Speaker of the House of Representatives Richard Corcoran
(850) 717-5000

Senate President Pro Tempore Anitere Flores
(850) 487-5039

Speaker Pro Tempore Jeanette Nunez
(850) 717-5650

Senate Majority Leader Wilton Simpson
(850) 487-5184

Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues
(850) 488-1993

Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala
(850) 487-5016

House Appropriations Chairman Carlos Trujillo
(850) 717-5105

Senate Rules Chair Lizbeth Benacquisto
(850) 487-5027

House Rules Chairman and Incoming House Speaker Jose Oliva
(850) 717-5110

Past Majority Leader Bill Galvano
(850) 487-5021

House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Clay Ingram
(850) 717-5001

Senate Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jeff Brandes
(850) 487-5024

Minority Leader Janet Cruz
(850) 717-5062

Minority Leader Oscar Braynon
(850) 487-5035

Find out what happened when other states cut funding for tourism marketing.

Read a letter from Ben Watkins, Florida's Director of the Division of Bond Finance, on how cutting VISIT FLORIDA's funding could hurt our state's credit rating.


Ken Lawson
President & CEO

Tags: Government/Politics & Law, Travel & Tourism

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