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Statement from VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Chris Thompson at Sine Die

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March 10, 2012

Statement from VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Chris Thompson at Sine Die

Tallahassee, FL – March 10, 2012

Below please find a statement from VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Chris Thompson at Sine Die:

“The VISIT FLORIDA board and staff, on behalf of the statewide tourism industry, thank Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature for their confidence in our state’s No. 1 industry, and for their recognition that an investment of $54 million in cooperative marketing through VISIT FLORIDA is the quickest way back to jobs and economic development in Florida.

VISIT FLORIDA’s mission is to promote travel and drive visitation to and within Florida supporting its vision to establish Florida as the No. 1 travel destination in the world. In so doing, VISIT FLORIDA adds value and creates value for its statewide tourism industry Partners through cooperative, destination marketing programs both domestically and internationally.

Every 85 visitors to the Sunshine State support one Florida Job. An estimated 85.9 million visitors came to Florida in 2011, an increase of 4.4 percent over 2010. This represents a record year for visitation, exceeding the previous high of 84.5 million in 2007. Tourism-related spending and tax revenues in 2011 reached record highs as well, with an estimated $67.3 billion in taxable sales and $4.0 billion in sales tax revenues. These figures, which represent 7.2 percent increases over 2010, exceed the previous highs of $65.5 billion and $3.9 billion, respectively, in 2007. In addition, tourism-related sales tax revenues represented 23 percent of all sales tax generated. Direct travel-related employment in Florida also rose to a near record high of 1,013,100, adding more than 38,000 jobs and representing a 3.9 percent increase over 2010.

Tourism marketing works as part of the solution to Florida’s economic challenges.”

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