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Report: Florida received 58 cents for every dollar spent on tourism marketing

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(The Center Square) — State officials say Florida’s tourism marketing organization, Visit Florida, returned only 58 cents for every dollar spent on it in 2023.

The report by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research found that Visit Florida’s public marketing during fiscal years 2019-22 generated a positive 0.58 return on investment.

According to the report, the return on investment for fiscal years 2019-22 was much lower than the previous two reports that covered 2016-19 and 2013-2016.

The report shows that in the 2021 report, Visit Florida’s marketing efforts received $3.27 for every dollar spent with a return on investment of 3.27. This was up from 2018’s analysis which had a return on investment of 2.15.

Legislation enacted in 2013 and 2014 directs EDR and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to analyze specific state economic development incentive programs every three years.

According to the EDR, state payments to Visit Florida have decreased 35.7% since its previous review, averaging $48.9 million annually over three years. However, the report further states that the U.S. Travel Association has reported that average state funding for tourism was around $18 million in fiscal year 2021-2022.

Overall, Florida had 134.2 million visitors in 2022, with nearly 127 million being domestic travelers, the largest number of visitors between 2016 and 2022.

International travel recovered somewhat with a reported 7.2 million international visitors in 2022, a slight rebound since the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, which saw only 2 million international visitors.

However, despite appearances, Florida’s Economic Estimating Conference expects a strong period of growth, around 6.4% during FY 2023-24, after which it is likely to drop to an average of 4.9% in FY 2024-25.

The EDR also notes that they believe the current working return on investment for Visit Florida is closer to 3.3, which better reflects the program’s long-term goals.

The report says Visit Florida’s mission is to promote and drive visitation to and within the state of Florida in hopes of establishing the state as the No. 1 destination, both domestically and internationally.

Visit Florida conducts marketing activities, and advertising campaigns both domestically and abroad, as well as researching travel trends and tourism, managing welcome centers, administering reimbursement grant programs, and partnering with businesses and destinations.

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