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VISIT FLORIDA, the state's official tourism marketing corporation, serves as Florida's official source for travel planning to visitors across the globe. VISIT FLORIDA is not a government agency, but rather a not-for-profit corporation created as a public/private partnership by the Florida Legislature in 1996.
On June 19, 1996, Governor Lawton Chiles signed a bill that dissolved Florida's Department of Commerce and turned its tourism functions over to the Florida Commission on Tourism. The Florida Commission on Tourism is a private/public partnership, consisting of the Governor, one member from the Florida Senate and the Florida House of Representatives and representatives from the various sectors of the state's tourism industry. In order to fulfill its mandate, the Florida Commission on Tourism created the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation (FTIMC), which operates business as VISIT FLORIDA.
VISIT FLORIDA is mandated by the State to match public funding, dollar-for-dollar, with private funds. These private funds come from several sources, including direct investment by VISIT FLORIDA’s industry Partners, Strategic Alliance Partners, cooperative advertising ventures, promotional media equivalency and merchandising of VISIT FLORIDA branded products. Currently, for each public dollar is matched by about $2.50 in private contributions.
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 98.9 million visitors in 2014 and employing more than 1.1 million Floridians. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA – the official tourism marketing corporation for the state of Florida – $3.20 in tax revenue is generated.
Additional funding is secured from the private sector to expand VISIT FLORIDA's marketing dollars. Last fiscal year, VISIT FLORIDA raised more than $120.1 million in private sector matching funds. This is done by actively recruiting the state's tourism industry to invest as Partners through cooperative advertising campaigns, promotional programs and many other pay-to-play ventures. Through this public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort.
VISIT FLORIDA facilitates tourism industry participation in domestic and international travel trade and consumer shows, as well as media missions to the top global visitor markets. VISIT FLORIDA also works closely with travel agents, tour operators, meeting and event planners, and also operates the state’s five Official Florida Welcome Centers at I-10 (Pensacola), US 231 (Campbellton), Capitol (Tallahassee), I-75 (Jennings) and I-95 (Yulee).
VISIT FLORIDA has 131.5 full - and part-time positions in Florida and an international team of contracted staff covering Canada, China, India, Germany, Latin America and the United Kingdom. VISIT FLORIDA's corporate office is located at 2540 W. Executive Center Circle, Suite 200, Tallahassee, Florida 32301.
- visitflorida.com (Commercial Website)
- visitflorida.org (Industry Website)
- sunshinematters.org (Corporate Blog)
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