Florida restaurateurs, citing a booming tourism industry, have come out in support of Gov. Rick Scott and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera for re-election in November.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, which represents over 10,000 hoteliers, theme parks, restaurateurs and suppliers statewide, announced the endorsement of incumbents Scott and Lopez-Cantera during Tuesday’s FRLA Marketing and Operations Summit in downtown Tampa.
“There is no question this Governor understands the importance of tourism and the vital role the hospitality industry plays in job creation and economic development,” and FRLA CEO Carol Dover said in a statement.
Speakers at the morning event included Dover and Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford; Scott later addressed the audience via conference call.
“Governor Scott led the charge in securing $75 million for VISIT FLORIDA tourism marketing, and $700,000 for our Hospitality Education Program (HEP) which helps train the next generation of industry professionals,” said 2014 FRLA Chair James E. McManemon, who also serves as general manger of The Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island.
Hospitality represents 23 percent of Florida’s economy, which at $76.1 billion, $4.6 billion in sales tax revenue, and nearly 1.1 million employees, making it Florida’s single largest industry.