Published on : Saturday, August 5, 2017
Visit Florida’s president, Ken Lawson will start to visit with the industry officials to rebuild the trust, after a month’s negative press and new rules that ended the partnerships with a number of local tourism organisations.
Ken Lawson is humbly wanted to meet with all the travel industry leaders to earn trust and learn the first-hand experience in the business. Visit Florida is now in the dire situation as all the partnership relations are snapped due to the whimsical guidelines and the business policies.
Visit Florida this year had to brawl to stay its state funding from being cut by two-thirds. Also, it dropped the sponsorship of an auto racing team and recently did not continue sponsorship of the British football club Fulham.
Visit Florida is ultimately avoided major funding cuts. But with lawmakers approving new disclosure rules tied to the state funding, Visit Florida has lost partnerships with 12 local organizations like Visit Tampa Bay, Visit South Walton, Visit Orlando, the Amelia Island CVB, the Brevard County Tourism Office, Discover The Palm Beaches, Experience Kissimmee, the Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council, the Franklin County TDC, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Orlando North Seminole County Tourism and the Santa Rosa County Tourist Development Office. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the regional organizations have severed ties with Visit Florida.
Jorge Pesquera, president & CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches said that they will continue to evaluate the sales and marketing opportunities, on a case-by-case basis, for possible integration within the destination marketing plan.
To make the organization more clear, the lawmakers passed a measure (SB 2-A) during a June special session that requires tourism boards participating in the “Targeted Marketing Assistance Program” to make public local operating budgets; travel and entertainment expenses; and the details of salaries and benefits of staff and board members tied to public and private funds.
Now, in the first phase, 46 tourism organisations have agreed to make a tie up with Visit Florida.
Visit Florida spokesman Stephen Lawson said in a statement that this company is eager to make the valuation of all the relations and maintains the clarity, accountability and efficiency in the works. Stephen Lawson also added that they are now working to make Visit Florida more comfortable to the travel industry leaders in business and make the affordable marketing programs to achieve the best standards.
Visit Florida is continuing to work to aggressively market our state and meet our goal of attracting a record 120 million visitors this year. Ken Lawson, who is not related to Stephen Lawson, acknowledged in the blog that the “battle” to maintain funding “was hard and messy.”