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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Visit Florida says study shows out of state spending growing



Under fire from the Florida Legislature for recent spending decisions, Visit Florida today will release a study that they say shows their work is paying off.

Visit Florida's report shows out-of-state spending hit nearly $109 billion in 2015 - up 4 percent from the previous year.

Other findings:

-On average out-of-state visitors spend $300 million per day in Florida.

-Out of state tourism generated $11.3 billion in state and local taxes

-Out-of-state visitors supported 1.4 million Florida jobs in 2015.

"This study offers a much more comprehensive and accurate picture of the true economic impact of Florida's out-of-state visitor spending and what it tells us is that the tourism industry is driving the growth of the Florida economy," said newly appointed Visit Florida CEO Ken Lawson. 

The report comes at a time the Florida Legislature is questioning the quasi-government agency's spending increases in recent years. Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, has threatened to dramatically cut that agency's budget after a $1 million contract with Pitbull to promote Florida beaches became public.

Visit Florida also has spent million on advertising with a British soccer team and on an auto racing team.

Those expenses are designed to reach international tourists and younger tourists who are not influenced as much by traditional advertising as other generations.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 2:12pm]


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