Visit Florida

Gov. Rick Scott has been on a very visible tour of the state recently, painting efforts to pare back on some of his programs as potential job-killers. WUSF's Steve Newborn looks at those claims with Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

The Florida House appears ready to take its incentives fight with Governor Rick Scott into the legislative session.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN News

Governor Rick Scott is touring Florida to go to bat for two agencies the state legislature is trying to do away with - Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development agency, and Visit Florida, the state's tourism-marketing arm.

At a roundtable meeting in Sunrise, Wednesday, Scott talked to a room full of local business leaders about the importance of hanging on to both.

“Your tourist economy was worth $8 billion dollars last year, just in Broward County. In this county, 113,000 jobs are tied to tourism,” Scott said.

The speaker of the Florida House is trying to end funding for Visit Florida. He's claiming that the state's tourism marketing effort isn't having any noticeable impact on the number of visitors to the state.

But is it? WUSF's Steve Newborn runs the numbers by Allison Graves of PolitiFact Florida.

New Visit Florida CEO Named After Pitbull Revelation

Jan 10, 2017

The Visit Florida board on Tuesday agreed to pay $73,000 to the agency's ousted CEO and appointed state Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Ken Lawson to immediately step in as a replacement.

The moves came after a controversy that included House leaders last month exposing an expired $1 million contract between the tourism-marketing agency and Miami rapper Pitbull to promote the state.

Rapper Pitbull released his $1 million contract with Florida's tourism marketing agency two days after the House speaker sued to find out details of the agreement.

Pitbull used Twitter to make the contract public on Thursday. He tweeted "*FULL DISCLOSURE – FLORIDA*" with a link to the 11-page agreement.

'Sexy Beaches' Get Rocky As Florida House Sues Over Pitbull Contract

Dec 14, 2016

Florida lawmakers want a judge to force a production company to say how much Armando Christian Perez, better known as the rapper Pitbull, was paid by the state's tourism-marketing arm to be a musical ambassador.

Florida Fish and Wildlife/flickr

Florida’s efforts to bring more visitors to the state are getting a boost from National Geographic. The website has launched a new hub dedicated to the Florida parks system.

Fantasy Springs/flickr

The best selling rap artist once referred to as Mr. 305 is now a paid ambassador for Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation. Rapper Pitbull is working on a music video showcasing the state.

Pitbull’s real name is Armando Christian Pérez. He’s a Miami native; his parents emigrated from Cuba. Now he calls himself Mr. Worldwide – since he’s become an international star. Pitbull’s more than 100 million social media followers make him an attractive partner for Visit Florida.

 

The Miami-based rapper will film his upcoming video for “Sexy Beaches” in Florida.

Screen shot / Fulham Football Club

Florida's public-private tourism agency has signed a deal to sponsor a professional soccer club in England's second-highest league.

The Visit Florida logo will appear on Fulham Football Club jerseys. The logo will also be on the three roofs of its London stadium, known as Craven Cottage, which is along the flight path for Heathrow Airport.

Fulham is owned by Shahid Khan, who also owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Florida Sets Record For Tourism

Nov 18, 2013
Florida Governor's Office

The three-month period ending in September brought almost 23 million visitors to Florida. That's the highest number ever for a third quarter.

The state is on pace to welcome about 95 million tourists in 2013. That would be a record, but shy of the 100-million goal the governor’s office was hoping for this year.

And it’s not just about the theme parks. Many visitors are hitting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach from international destinations.

mgiants/flickr

Florida gets about 87 million visitors a year. The nonprofit research group Florida Taxwatch wanted to know what would happen to the economy if that number reached 100 million.

The group did a study. The results suggest 121-thousand jobs would be created and other good things would happen to the economy.

So, the report recommends that the Legislature allocate more money for advertising.