Canadian Travel Press
Issue Date: Sep 25, 2017
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They did the right thing

Mike Dunbar

A new study has shown conclusively that Florida state legislators made the correct choice when they overturned an attempt to axe public sector funding of Visit Florida. The Direct Influencer Study proved that money spent on tourism marketing is money well spent.
The results, which were unveiled at the recent Governor’s Conference on Tourism, showed that fully 54.2% of visitors to Florida surveyed said they were directly influenced by a Visit Florida marketing effort.
The showing was up almost ten points from the 46.4% result for the 2015-16 fiscal year and way up from the 36.9 result in 2010.
During the conference, ardent Visit Florida supporter Governor Rick Scott told delegates that he had “worked hard to convince Tallahassee that travel and tourism and Visit Florida were important to the state” and, in fact, were so important that they had “changed the entire economy.”
Visit Florida chief executive Ken Lawson declared, “Based on the results of our recent study, one thing’s clear: Visit Florida’s marketing programs are working. Over 54% of respondents saying a program directly influenced their decision to visit the Sunshine State is great news.”
Lawson added, “These results show that we are the leader in bringing in record numbers of visitors to our state. We will keep working to aggressively market Florida; reach our goal of 120 million visitors and make Florida the No.1 global destination,” he pledged.
Survey respondents said the Visit Florida website was the most potent direct influencer, followed by the agency’s social media campaigns, a stop at an official Florida welcome centre during a previous trip, a Visit Florida publication and a non-specific radio, TV online or print advertisement.