TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With a record-smashing 105 million visitors visiting the Sunshine State in 2015, tourism has made an incredible impact on Florida’s economy. In fact, one job is supported by every 85 visitors to our state.
However, competition for tourism dollars is fierce and the Sunshine State must fight to maintain its status as the world’s premier tourism destination. A new report by Florida TaxWatch finds that investing more in international tourism will significantly boost the state’s tourism numbers and strengthen the economy.
“In recent years, increased public and private investment in Florida tourism has resulted in record numbers of visitors who have added billions of dollars and thousands of jobs to the state’s economy. However, we as a state cannot rest on our laurels,” said President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “Investing in international tourism is crucial in maintaining and growing Florida’s natural competitive advantage in attracting visitors to the Sunshine State from all parts of the world.”
Florida already is one of the leaders in international tourism, currently ranked 17th in the world in terms of the number of international tourists. However, in order to compete with states like California and countries like France and Spain, the state must make critical investments in key areas. The TaxWatch report finds that Florida must ensure consistent and secure funding for VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s tourism marketing arm. Doing so would allow the agency to better predict funding for future years and allow them to engage in long-term marketing strategies. This would also allow VISIT FLORIDA to target under-represented foreign tourists and encourage them to experience Florida.
Additionally, the report recommends investing in the state’s infrastructure. Properly maintaining the state’s seaports, roads and airports will make travel safer, ensuring a smooth and memorable visit for tourists.
Read the report, Welcoming the World: Making Florida the Top International Tourism Destination, here.