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tourism marketing

VISIT FLORIDA cops to ‘clerical error’ on Syria advertising

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Syria

VISIT FLORIDA is saying ‘oops’ over what it calls a “clerical error” showing it made advertising buys in several Middle Eastern countries, including Syria, listed by the feds as a “state sponsor of terrorism.” The state’s embattled tourism marketing arm “was recently alerted to a clerical error in a short-term contract with the international advertising agency AVIAREPS,” said John Tupps, vice president of government relations for the agency, in an email. “In two places, the contract inaccurately listed several Middle East countries…

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Rick Scott rallies allies for VISIT FLORIDA

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With VISIT FLORIDA chief Ken Lawson acting as hype man, Gov. Rick Scott held a rally inside the Florida Capitol to “save” the embattled tourism organization. Scott, not typically a high-energy performer, worked up the crowd of hundreds in the building’s rotunda with the help of CFO Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. In the background, Lawson hollered, “That’s right!” and “Yessir!” “We need to remain the tourist capital of the world,” Scott said to cheers and whistling. Meantime, dozens of…

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House splitting legislation on incentives, tourism funding

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In a letter to fellow members, state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz says House leadership now is planning to bifurcate its legislation to eliminate Enterprise Florida and to overhaul VISIT FLORIDA. The Senate, however, so far still intends to keep Enterprise Florida as part of its economic development tool chest. On Monday, Diaz – the Miami-Dade Republican who chairs the House Commerce Committee – wrote an email titled “Accountability – Everyone is for it, Right? We’ll see…” about his chamber’s proposal (HB 7005). “We have heard from members and stakeholders…

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Bill to kill business incentives, Enterprise Florida cleared for House floor

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business incentives

A House bill that would abolish the Enterprise Florida economic development organization, eliminate a throng of business incentive programs, and strip the VISIT FLORIDA tourism marketing agency down to a barebones $25 million budget cleared its second and final panel Tuesday. That means the measure (HB 7005), OK’d by the House Appropriations Committee on an 18-12 vote, is ready to be considered by the full House when the 2017 Legislative Session begins March 7.  The vote was another hit to Gov. Rick Scott, an advocate…

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Carol Dover: Florida’s future depends on tourism

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tourism

Marketing is a contest for people’s attention, and state tourism marketing is no different. However, the detrimental impacts of removing a powerful marketing mechanism mean a world of difference when your state budget revenue depends on your share of the market. The proposed bill spearheaded by the House Careers & Competition Subcommittee that eliminates VISIT FLORIDA will have severe and irreversible impacts on the state’s hospitality industry. We must protect the tourism industry, Florida’s top employer and chief economic driver,…

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