VisitFlorida extension gets 1st thumbs up

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The state’s tourism and marketing agency’s life would be extended until 2031 under legislation approved by a Senate Committee in the State Capitol Tuesday.

The agency was nearly abolished in 2019, but its life was extended until 2022 when the pandemic hit.

Tuesday’s action was supported by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, which told lawmakers the agency has been instrumental in the state’s economic recovery.

“Extending the sunset day allows VisitFlorida to really dig into its mission, attract top talent and develop innovative marketing strategies for the short term and the long term. All of these benefit all Floridians because tourism is the engine for Florida’s economy,” said Samantha Padgett with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

The agency has been having trouble recruiting top talent who were concerned their job would only last a year or two.

The Florida House rejected a plan to keep the agency in business indefinitely, but it agreed on the 2031 date, which future legislatures can extend or honor.

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