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Letters to the Editor: VISIT FLORIDA offers small towns a big voice with “vital partnership”

Saturday, February 08, 2020

A vital partnership

Visit Florida

Sports tourism is a growing sector of the tourism industry. In Pasco County, we are increasingly attracting active travelers interested in fishing, hiking, biking, skydiving and amateur sports. We are a growing sports vacation market, largely thanks to the tourism promotion programs available through Visit Florida. Participating in national advertising and international marketing events made possible by Visit Florida has created a ripple effect on our economy and our community’s brand — positive impacts that can only be continued through the Florida Legislature reauthorizing and fully funding Visit Florida.

Our tourism development tax revenue is up 17 percent year over year. We have added four hotels in the past two years. Two more hotels will rise in 2020, and another is expected in 2021. Consumers, media and tour operators have a geographical reference point for our destination and we even have a recognizable name now: “Florida’s Sports Coast.”

The Florida Sports Coast’s vital partnership with the state’s tourism marketing organization allows our small-market destination to have a greater voice. Our hotels and restaurants feel the same way. Give Visit Florida the funding it deserves.

Adam Thomas, New Port Richey

The writer is tourism director for Experience Florida’s Sports Coast.

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