Report: COVID-19 tanked state’s return on VISIT FLORIDA spending

visit florida
'Real Disposable Personal Income attributed to VISIT FLORIDA decreased by almost 58 percent during this period.'

The COVID-19 virus that spurred a global pandemic in 2020 and froze tourism industry vital to Florida’s economy also undercut the effectiveness of the state’s investment in its main tourism marketing agency, VISIT FLORIDA, according to a report by state economists.

The report from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) shows that from 2019-2022, the state received 58 cents back for every $1 it invested in VISIT FLORIDA. But it also says the drop in revenues generated by the program was due to the shutdown of the travel industry due to the pandemic.

“The largest contributor to the decline in ROI over this review period was the effect of the COVID health crisis on Florida’s tourism industry,” the report states. “Real Disposable Personal Income attributed to VISIT FLORIDA decreased by almost 58 percent during this period.”

A spokeswoman for VISIT FLORIDA didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

In fact, in prior reports conducted by EDR — VISIT FLORIDA’s return on investment is evaluated every three years — VISIT FLORIDA had a positive return of at least 2 to 1. For 2016-2019, for instance the return was $3.27 for every $1 spent.

The reduced effectiveness came despite a decrease in state funding for VISIT FLORIDA. In the prior three-year reporting window, VISIT FLORIDA received $230 million in taxpayer funds, while during 2019-2022 it received $147 million.

But as tourism rebounds from the pandemic doldrums, state economists project the positive return on investment to come back as well.

“EDR believes that the current working ROI of 3.3 percent is more reflective of the VISIT FLORIDA program over a longer period of time and should be used for all forward-looking analyses,” the report states.

The tourism industry lost its share of total jobs in the state during the pandemic, dropping from 16.6% to 12.8%, but VISIT FLORIDA helped mitigate those losses, accounting for 19,462 additional jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.

Gray Rohrer


One comment

  • Earl Pitts "THE NEW MAYOR OF REALVILLE" American

    April 2, 2024 at 6:57 pm

    Good evening America,
    STAND BY FOR SAGE NEWS:
    America I, Earl Pitts American, have hit upon possably the most Sage Bit Of “EARL WISDOM” Ever.
    EARL PREACHES ON:
    America this wisdom nugget is likely the best thing you will ever be blessed with in your entire lifetimes.
    EARL DELIVERS THE GOODS:
    America from Right Now forward I. Earl Pitts American, want you to subisitute the words “Dook 4 Brains, or Dook -a -crats” for the word “COVID”. Henceforth each and every time you see or hear the word “COVID” you are hereby ordered to subisitute the word “DEMOCRAT or DOOK-A-CRAT, or even DEMONCRAT, or for my 10th grade English Teacher you will be allowed to subisitute the actual word “DEMOCRAT” for the word “COVID” (Earl still has the Hotty-Hots for you Miss Grundy). Remember that time you had little “Early” stay after class to “Clean The Blackboard Erasers? …. oh, America, my bad, I kinda got distracted by the sweet sweet memeory of time Miss Grundy turned “Little Early” into a Man …. but anyway …. Just do as Earl says and you will be well on your way to achieving “Sage Wisdom”.
    …. and from that day forward The Beautiful Miss Grundy never called me “Little Early” again I became “Big Earl”.
    AND THATS THE REST OF THE STORY:
    Earl Pitts “BIG EARL” American

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704




Sign up for Sunburn


Categories