U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement regarding the drastic cut to Florida tourism promotion funding in the state budget agreement announced today.

“We are deeply disappointed that Florida legislators insist on taking such a short-sighted approach to managing the public’s money—and agree with the Governor's office that the correct course is to put Florida's small businesses and families first by properly funding VISIT FLORIDA.

"Despite the obvious benefits of public funding for tourism promotion, Florida’s legislature has chosen to risk the jobs of 1.4 million Floridians for meager savings now. A number of states have made ill-advised cuts to their tourism offices—the economic consequences of this risky, discredited experiment are swift, severe and can take decades to recover from.

“Governor Scott showed bold vision in his $100 million investment proposal for VISIT FLORIDA earlier this month, and we thank him for his support of Florida’s travel workers and small businesses. In addition, we thank VISIT FLORIDA CEO Ken Lawson for his leadership and appreciation for the profound impact of travel on Florida’s economy.

"We hold out hope that the waning days of this legislative session yield a solution that would prevent the severe effects such cuts would have on Florida’s economy, jobs and tax revenues."

U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry. In 2020, travel generated $1.5 trillion in economic output and supported 11 million jobs, a drastic decline from pre-pandemic figures. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States. Visit ustravel.org for information and recovery-related data.