To learn about the development of the state's official tourism marketing corporation, «Visit Florida«, after in 2018 he received a postponement of the budget block until 2020, its president Virginia Hayley talked with floridapolitics.com.
By writing MiamiDiario
When talking about Visit Florida, we are talking about the tourism marketing of the Sunshine State, because it is the official source of Florida for the travel planning to visitors from all over the world.
In 2018, Visit Florida received a budget block deferral to 2020. Then Visit Sarasota County President Virginia Haley assumed the presidency of Visit Florida, at a time when she was in a critical state and she contributed to the restructuring of this institution.
When floridapolitics.com interviewed Virginia Haley highlighted some important aspects.
Asked why destination management organizations want Visit Florida to continue, Haley commented, "We need Visit Florida to tell tourists first and foremost why do they need to come to florida and the attractive reasons to know the different cities of the state».
The president, in charge of the tourist marketing of the state, assured that through the Visit Florida website they seek to attract the attention of people. The goal is for tourists are interested in Florida for the new, fun and exciting experiences they are going to have.
Haley asserted that in the case of Florida, consumers must always be offered new and diverse experiences, so they can learn about cruises, visit theme parks and enjoy the state's resorts, and that is exactly what Visit Florida does.
On the impact that these years of uncertainty have had on the official Visit Florida corporation, Haley stated, “In terms of scrutiny and transparency requests, I think we are stronger for it. We're happy people are watching what we do closely."
Haley added that last year people were still passionate about the tourism corporation, but they were worried about the funding problem. The workers have lived through this situation for about three or four years.
In 2018 even though it was possible that Visit Florida could cease to exist at the end of September, the team continued to work in a very responsible and committed way.
In the event that lawmakers decided Visit Florida should go away, Haley stated, “We'd have to start applying what we're doing to other markets. When we go somewhere under the Visit Florida name, the investment is less expensive.”
Haley noted that recently as Visit Florida they had a big event in Toronto with Air Canada and it went very well.
Asked what the most valuable markets were for Visit Florida, Haley opined, "I would say the medium and small markets they may rely more on Visit Florida, but, for example, in London, Disney was a big part of those promotions. Proportionately, mid-sized and smaller destinations may see higher value, but we're not discounting the fact that Visit Florida's marketing committee this year is chaired by Frank Belzer of Universal, who has some great ideas." He added that on the executive committee is Claire Bilby, a Disney representative.
As for the next Legislative Session, it seems that the governor Ron De Santis since the last session it was displayed more in favor of financing permanently the tourist agency.
On this point, Haley asserted, “I think we still have strong support from the Senate leadership. I think if they allow this bill to go to House committees, it could pass."
He stressed that they have been demonstrating the importance and value of Visit Florida for the state, and thus be able to obtain new resources for its operation.