Tallahassee celebrates the Sunshine State’s largest industry with the annual Florida Tourism Day, scheduled for Wednesday at the Florida Capitol.
Led by the Partnership for Florida’s Tourism, the daylong event will help educate lawmakers, media and the public about the importance of more than 94.7 million tourists visiting Florida in 2013, the third consecutive record year for the industry.
Among other Florida Tourism Day hosts are the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, VISIT FLORIDA, Florida Attractions Association, Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, Florida Association of Museums, Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Film Florida, and the Florida Sports Foundation.
Industry representatives will spread out through the Capitol, meeting with legislators and staff to ensure hospitality and tourism-marketing programs remain fully funded as the state looks to attract more than 100 million visitors in 2014.
“The millions upon millions of visitors that take advantage of world-class hotels, restaurants and attractions here in the Sunshine State give billions of dollars back to our state’s economy,” says Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association CEO Carol Dover. “Tourism Day gives us an opportunity to talk one-on-one with legislators about the pro-business and pro-job initiatives that keep Floridians employed and national and international visitors coming to the Sunshine State.”
Tourism marketing through VISIT FLORIDA — the state’s quasi-governmental tourism agency — in addition to promotion agencies on the county level are critical to maintaining Florida’s part of an increasingly competitive market, says Executive Director Robert Skrob of the Florida Association of Destination Marketing Organizations .
“We are excited to have the opportunity to recognize and promote the overwhelming positive impact that tourism marketing, Florida movies and Florida television shows have in generating jobs for Floridians and bringing new money to local communities throughout our state,” says Film Florida President Leah Sokolowsky.
In addition to the 10 statewide associations participating in Tourism Day, there will also be a celebration event in downtown Tallahassee that evening.
It will be on Adams Street between College and Jefferson Streets from 5 to 8 p.m., with food and refreshments from local restaurants as well as live music provided by the group Low Flying Planes.
A complete schedule of events is on the Florida Tourism Day website.