VISIT FLORIDA leader Dana Young blasts travel warnings against the state as baseless partisan attacks
VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young.

Dana Young
Record-breaking tourism, safety statistics show warnings about Florida travel 'blatant factual misrepresentations,' Dana Young says.

After a third advocacy group warned people about traveling to Florida, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young blasted the advisories as partisan-motivated stunts full of inaccurate claims.

The NAACP issued an advisory Saturday warning people that Florida is openly hostile to African Americans, people of color and the LGBTQ community as evidenced by its legislation restricting diversity, equity and inclusion programs in schools and universities. This comes after one from the League of United Latin American Citizens. The group cited legislation the Governor signed earlier this month that targets undocumented migrants and puts new rules on driving, employment and receiving health care.

Equality Florida was first out of the gate with its advisory. The LGBTQ advocacy organization warned in early April that recent legislation poses a threat to the health, safety and freedom of numerous people.

There is no danger, Young said in a statement. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, the leader of the state’s official tourism marketing organization said.

“We pride ourselves on welcoming every visitor with the same warmth and friendliness, no matter where they are from, what they believe, whom they love or what their abilities are,” Young’s statement said.

“It is disappointing when partisan organizations attempt to weaponize travel in pursuit of political ends,” she added.

Numbers put the lie to these “blatant factual misrepresentations” Young called “a disservice to the traveling public” and “disrespectful to the incredibly diverse visitors and residents that are proud to call Florida home.

Specifically, Young said, the state has:

—Experienced record-breaking tourism numbers year after year, attracting the largest share of the African American vacation market in the country.

—Enacted the toughest anti-discrimination laws in the country, protecting all people.

—Safe cities with none on the 25 most-dangerous U.S. cities list.

—Committed to strong law enforcement to protect visitors and residents alike.

Her statement does not address the recent legislation, however. The immigration legislation (SB 1718) for example, declares that the driver licenses that 15 states issue to undocumented migrants are null and void in Florida. Democratic lawmakers specifically asked what message that will send to tourists when they learn their official government identification carries no authority in Florida.

Republicans said they are looking to make Florida less attractive to illegal migrants.

Anne Geggis

Anne Geggis is a South Florida journalist who began her career in Vermont and has worked at the Sun-Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal and the Gainesville Sun covering government issues, health and education. She was a member of the Sun-Sentinel team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Parkland high school shooting. You can reach her on Twitter @AnneBoca or by emailing [email protected].


  • Michael K

    May 22, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    No danger? Tampa cancelled its Pride Parade because small community-based groups cannot afford the expensive litigation when the DeSantis morality police go after parade organizers. No danger? Black people have been disenfranchised — anti woke afterall, is anti-Black — and the teaching of Black history is under attack, and diversity is now a dirty word in the “free” state of Florida.

    Easy for straight white people to say “there is no danger.”

    • Keystone Keys

      May 23, 2023 at 3:07 pm

      Sure, your rants are true because YOU say so. The parade was in all likelihood cancelled because of a full-blown hissy fit by the organizers. Anti Woke is anti Marxists and Anti Communist. It is astonishing how the white liberal intelligentsia is able to manipulate, for their own gains and total power, all of the box checking, protected classes along with the self-loathing white fellow travelers. The white liberal intelligentsia is the epitome of a racist group.

  • SteveHC

    May 22, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    I’m sorry but these id**ts just can’t seem to understand that they have been making Florida LESS attractive to OVER HALF the population of the United States. Apparently they are convinced that “winning” their small-minded ideological, anti-civil rights and anti-local goverment wars are somehow “worth it”…

    • Impeach Biden

      May 23, 2023 at 6:13 am

      Where are you getting your numbers from? By the way I just passed through the Miami airport and looks like the NAACP warnings are not being paid attention to. Are you aware that people of color make up roughly 13% of the population I. The United States?

      • Andrew T. Linko

        May 23, 2023 at 9:09 am

        Fear of culture and fear of color motivates a lot of hate and resentment. Maybe if our Christian churches taught ‘Christ’s’ teachings, we wouldn’t look so ignorant? Ghandi said, ‘ I love your Christ, but he is so unlike your Christian’s’!

        • Dont Say FLA

          May 23, 2023 at 10:44 am

          I think is all stems from porn. Tiny D’ed while males see the constant steam of giant pythons on the internet and feel even worse about their own inadequacy. It’s the whole reason they hate brown people. It’s also the reason they ban abortion. They want to catch their white women sneaking around with a python and they figure the baby’s appearance will prove it. It’s all about getting themselves out of miserable marriages when the only way out, clean, for a white man is if his white woman cheated. Rhonda must be really really miserable with Mrs Rhonda. And she with him, no doubt. Nooooooooo doubt.

    • Keystone Keys

      May 23, 2023 at 10:47 am

      Keep wallowing in your misery! Florida just keeps getting better and better!

  • ScienceBLVR

    May 22, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    “Regardless of party affiliation, I think that we all agree that the best scenario for a child is to be in a loving family with a mother and father… quoted Dana Young in her virulent opposition to gay parents adopting children not too long ago. She was a bigot then and gone on to represent the racist policies of DeSantis’s regime in the present day. Visit Dana Young’s Florida? Only if you are white, straight, and not too bright, apparently.

    • DeSantis created a dystopia

      May 22, 2023 at 11:03 pm

      unfortunately, once a bigot, always a bigot. They generally have very small minds, and refuse to change or grow a true hallmark of the current GOP legislators in the state of Florida.

  • DeSantis created a dystopia

    May 22, 2023 at 11:01 pm

    The irony. Within five short months, the arrogance of DeSantis combine with the sycophant GOP legislators push through legislation that literally turned Florida into. A dystopia. And now the world knows and is warning everyone how dangerous and unfree Florida has become! It is now a state run by losers

    • Keystone Keys

      May 23, 2023 at 10:55 am

      You obviously preferred the guy caught in the hotel room with drugs and a male escort.

  • PeterH

    May 23, 2023 at 12:09 am

    Ron DeSantis’s intention was to divide and initiate a mess and accuse others.

    Dana Young knows that is just a matter of time before we have a crisis initiated by her dear leader.

  • Andrew Linko

    May 23, 2023 at 12:24 am

    Attacking Mickey Mouse is NOT personal and political? It just reaps and the stench of partisan self-centered politics to promote a self-centered agenda and lose $1 billion investment in Florida is a great way to promote business!

  • Jim

    May 23, 2023 at 1:14 am

    “DeSantis created a dystopia”

    You Libs are delusional. Absolute RDS DS! (The latter “DS” stands for derangement syndrome.”)

    • Ocean Joe

      May 23, 2023 at 5:55 am

      The Villages Bubble has spoken!
      Get back to the pickleball court! Stat!

      Bad news: Disney is playing rope a dope with your hero.

      • Impeach Biden

        May 23, 2023 at 6:11 am

        Send Disney back to Kalifornia. Newsom needs the tax revenue for reparations in free state Kalifornia.

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 23, 2023 at 10:39 am

    Travel warnings are baseless partisan attacks? Mrs Dana seems to have confused Florida travel warnings with the SCOTUS. Everybody be nice to the confused elderly Florida woman. Correct her, but be nice. She can’t help being elderly and demented. It can happen to any white lady.

  • John Logan

    May 23, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    I have visited Florida in the past but will not travel there as long as DeSantis is Governor. It is my money and my decision.

  • Florida State Patrol Decides

    May 24, 2023 at 9:46 am

    When you get stopped on the turnpike, if your Florida State Patrol guy decides to have you prove you’re not from Africa, when you can’t prove that on the side of the road because it’s ridiculous, off to state prison you may go. I wouldn’t go to Florida under those conditions. And what if they think you’re gay or trans? Yikes! Yes folks, stay out of Florida to stay out of Ron DeSantis Consent Ration Camps where brown gay trans immigrant unarmed people shall be indefinitely kept. “For their own safety,” of course.

    • Keystone Keys

      May 24, 2023 at 12:41 pm

      You, and people like you, SHOULD stay away! New York, L.A., etc., are more to your liking.

  • John

    May 24, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    LOL…” partisan-motivated stunts full of inaccurate claims.” A most articulated definition of Right-wing Republican politicians…

  • John

    May 24, 2023 at 10:46 pm

    When MULTIPLE organizations start publishing travel bans it’s time to take heed…especially if you are of the minorities that are being targeted…in Florida that would be LGBT+, Blacks, Hispanics, and females of childbearing age…

Comments are closed.


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