TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Statement from Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy research institute and government watchdog:
"Florida's thriving tourism industry provides extraordinary opportunities for economic growth. Increasing investment in the Sunshine State's tourism industry has a direct impact on job creation in the state, and the economic impact can be felt throughout many of Florida's other industries.
"Florida TaxWatch's independent research has shown that every 85 visitors to Florida equals one new job in the state, and that only half of those jobs are created in the tourism sector. Half of the jobs that result from the state's investment in attracting visitors to Florida are created in non-tourism industry sectors, such as administrative services, transportation and health care, which helps balance job creation and diversify the state economy.
"I commend the Governor and the Legislature for their commitment to investing in Florida tourism marketing and bolstering state infrastructure to increase resident and visitor capacity. It is critical in 2016 that policymakers continue to fund tourism marketing programs to reach the goal of attracting 100 million visitors to Florida, which will help ensure sustained job creation. Lawmakers must also address the critical capacity and infrastructure development needs facing the state's visitors and residents to ensure Florida is not stifling growth in an industry that supports millions of jobs."