Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida economic development and tourism leaders from across Florida are applauding Governor Ron DeSantis’ support of VISIT FLORIDA’s new in-state marketing campaign to help Florida’s tourism industry and economy recover from COVID-19.

“We appreciate Governor DeSantis’ measured approach throughout the COVID-19 epidemic and his focus on getting our economy going strong again. VISIT FLORIDA’s new campaign is a great way to help bolster travel during the fall and winter months. We encourage Floridians to enrich their lives by exploring the diverse regions of the state and experiencing first-hand destinations like Panama City Beach and the rest of Northwest Florida.” – Dan Rowe, Chairman of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors; President & CEO, Visit Panama City Beach

“In-state travel will be crucial for bringing jobs and business back to the Orlando area. Thank you, Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA for working to get businesses back up and running and safely opening so Floridians can get back to work.” – Frank Belzer, SVP, Portfolio Sales, Universal Orlando

“Florida’s tourism businesses and the jobs they create serve as the backbone of our state’s economy. I appreciate the efforts and dedication of Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA to jumpstart the recovery of Florida’s tourism industry through this campaign.” – Claire Bilby, SVP Sales, Events & Services, Disney Destinations, Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts

“Reminding Floridians of the unforgettable experiences in their own state is a smart investment by VISIT FLORIDA and Governor DeSantis. This will allow us to quickly reach people who are willing to travel immediately – a great first step on our road to tourism recovery.” – Bobby Cornwell, Executive Director, Florida Association of RVs and Campgrounds

“VISIT FLORIDA’s in-state campaign is essential to the recovery of Florida’s tourism and hospitality industry. Together, we invite Floridians to explore the hidden gems within our home state, while reigniting the economy and providing local businesses the opportunity to protect and create jobs. FRLA is proud to partner with VISIT FLORIDA as we continue to promote the incomparable features of our great state, and we appreciate Governor DeSantis’ support for our industry.” – Carol Dover, President & CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA)

“Our parks offer a variety of outdoor activities and opportunities for visitors to enjoy wide open spaces. VISIT FLORIDA’s campaign offers us a platform to share that message with potential travelers that we may otherwise not have been able to share. We’re thankful for all the support the entire tourism industry receives from both VISIT FLORIDA and Governor DeSantis.” – Eric Draper, Director, Florida Park Service

“Last week’s announcement from Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA is welcome news to Florida’s entire tourism industry. Our state is home to so many unforgettable experiences and Floridians should explore their home state. Sarasota looks forward to leveraging the co-operative advertising opportunities to help get the most out of our limited advertising dollars.” – Virginia Haley, Visit Sarasota County President and VISIT FLORIDA Immediate Past Chair

“Travel is at the core of Florida’s economy, and it’s great to see our state leaders acting to help tourism recover. People across the world should understand that Florida is a safe destination, and VISIT FLORIDA initially marketing within the state will help build needed confidence. Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA’s announcement is welcome news to everyone whose job depends on tourism.” – Malinda Horton, Executive Director, Florida Association of Museums

“Floridians hold the key to our recovery. If every Floridian decided to take a trip within their community or within our state boundaries, we could quickly see positive momentum in the travel industry. Thanks to Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA for this innovative campaign.” – Lisa Hulquist, VP, Marketing, SeaWorld Orlando

“A lot of people in Florida’s tourism sector are hurting right now due to COVID-19, and this initial recovery campaign from VISIT FLORIDA will send a clear and urgent message to our citizens. We need people to begin traveling within Florida. Thank you to Governor DeSantis and President and CEO Dana Young for their leadership on this important issue.” – Bill Lupfer, Executive Director, Florida Attractions Association

“Whether you’re a newcomer or a lifelong resident, VISIT FLORIDA’s campaign reinforces to Floridians that they live in a vacation state, and have the opportunity to take their next adventure close to home. We appreciate this thoughtful, safety-minded approach and the Governor’s support of VISIT FLORIDA and tourism in Florida.” – Joe Mayer, Director, Government Relations, Lockheed Martin

“The support of Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA is vital to the recovery of Florida’s tourism-dependent economy. Through their efforts with the launch of this campaign, destinations throughout the state have the opportunity to begin marketing our abundant offerings and highlighting how our fellow Floridians can enjoy them safely.” Kerry Morrissey, Director of PR & Community Relations, Ocean Properties

“As Floridians begin traveling again, we have the opportunity to highlight why their home state is the best place for a staycation. The VISIT FLORIDA campaign announced by Governor DeSantis allows our destination to reach these potential travelers and help our local tourism businesses recover.” – Jorge Pesquera, CEO, Discover the Palm Beaches

“Tourism is so vital to our state’s economy and our families in the Citrus County area. Together with Governor DeSantis, VISIT FLORIDA’s new campaign will safely deliver visitors into our communities and help people get back to work.” – John Pricher, Executive Director, Discover Crystal River

“Tourism accounts for thousands of jobs in the Kissimmee area. Without a strong recovery from the travel sector, our state’s economy will be much slower to recover. The smart approach by beginning marketing within the state will pay dividends. We appreciate Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA for last week’s announcement.” – Paul Proly, Director of Sales, Boggy Creek Airboats

“Across our entire state, the tourism industry has been focused on ensuring that our guests can have a safe experience. The Governor and VISIT FLORIDA encouraging our citizens to travel within our state is prudent and will allow us to reopen with much needed support.” – Jennifer Rominiecki, President & CEO, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

“VISIT FLORIDA continues to show its value in times of crisis. The marketing campaigns they offer their partners, both large and small, provide the opportunity to recover faster and with less financial stress than if they had to do it on their own. I applaud the work of Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA to protect the No. 1 industry in our state.” – Robert Skrob, Executive Director, Destinations Florida

“Without the support of VISIT FLORIDA and Governor DeSantis, small destinations like ours will struggle to recover from the impacts of COVID-19. VISIT FLORIDA’s in-state marketing campaign provides us with an opportunity to begin sharing our “open for business” message and highlight what we have to offer travelers in our own backyard.” – John Solomon, Executive Director, Franklin County TDC

“At Hawks Cay Resort, we’re so thrilled for last week’s announcement by Governor DeSantis and VISIT FLORIDA. This campaign will help our businesses with immediate economic relief by encouraging Floridians how important it is to support destinations in their own state first.” – Sheldon Suga, Vice President & Managing Director, Hawks Cay Resort



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