Governor restores $10m in tourism-advertising money


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.

“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.”