Governor restores $10m in tourism-advertising money

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After an intense lobbying campaign from the tourism industry, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist restored nearly $10 million in state-marketing money, part of $365 million in budget cuts that the governor blocked today.

The move spares Visit Florida from having to absorb $9.9 million in cuts that state lawmakers approved in an emergency session earlier this month as they sought to patch a multibillion-dollar budget shortfall.

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“This restored funding will ensure the continuation of successful advertising and marketing programs that bring visitors, and their money, to our state,” Richard Goldman, Visit Florida’s chairman, said in a prepared statement. “Every $1 that VISIT FLORIDA spends in tourism marketing returns $3 in tourism-related taxes to state coffers.”