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Rick Scott announces record tourism numbers, criticizes marketing budget cut

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A record number of tourists — 31.1 million visitors — came to Florida during the first three months of 2017, a 2.5 percent increase over the same period in 2016. Gov. Rick Scott released the latest numbers Monday at Miami’s Jungle Island. Nearly 113 million tourists — most of them from the United States — visited last year. However Scott warned that potential cuts to Florida’s tourism marketing agency could doom continued growth. State legislators recently voted to cut funding…

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Airbnb reaches agreement with Hillsborough County over tourist taxes

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Airbnb has reached an agreement Wednesday with the Hillsborough County Tax Collector Office, in a deal that could immediately add thousands of dollars in county revenue. Home hosts in Hillsborough will begin paying bed taxes for overnight guests, which is estimated at about one-quarter million dollars a year. Airbnb will collect and remit taxes from 838 property owners countywide who rent out bedrooms, apartments and even entire houses as lodging for visitors, Hillsborough County Tax Collector Doug Belden said in a statement…

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Tourists still flocking to Florida in record numbers for now

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Tourists are flocking to the Sunshine State in record numbers — at least for now. Florida Gov. Rick Scott will announce Friday that 57.4 million tourists visited the state during the first half of 2016. State officials say that’s the highest six-month total ever and a 4.3 percent increase over the year. Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm, estimates that the record number includes more than 49 million domestic visitors. The rest came to the state from Canada or…

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The latest op-ed from Henry Boxlor: The oil is coming…the oil is coming!

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

No matter how many walks along the Beach President Obama makes, or the many wishes of Governor Crist that the oil won’t come, or the consistent ignoring by County Administrator Lasalla, or the prayers of Mayor Foster…THE OIL IS COMING. You just can’t dump that much crap into the Gulf of Mexico, heat it up, stir it with a couple of tropical storms, turn it into a crude oil casserole and expect that none of it will wind up on…

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Kendrick Meek lets his internal fisherman and Floridian shine amid tough talk on oil spill

in Statewide by

What a great headline! David Hunt suggests that if you have about a half-hour handy, check out U.S. Rep. (and Senate candidate) Kendrick Meek on the House floor late Tuesday giving an increasingly impassioned speech on the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He said the cleanup will take years and the government needs to help the Gulf states who are losing tourists and fishing crops. “I’ll be doggone if we allow these oil executives to come to Congress…

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Tourists flock to Visit Florida website

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Since May 1st, 90,000 people from around the world have visited Florida’s tourism website, many of them to see if our coast had been affected by the massive oil slick sitting in the Gulf. Visit Florida wants tourists know that Florida is still open for Business. Will Seccombe, Chief Marketing Officer for Visit Florida, says their fighting rumors and bad press to make sure people don’t cancel their vacations without all the information. “It’s a big part of our state’s…

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