I am proud to be a part of the Florida delegation, representing the great Sunshine State and its residents. Florida knows how to do travel and tourism right!
Our state is one of America’s top destinations for tourists. I am so proud that we have been successful in creating an environment where tourism based business can thrive, because more tourism means more jobs.
In addition to creating jobs, tourism boosts local businesses, and keeps our communities growing.
This year has been an especially exciting one for Florida’s Twelfth District. We’ve seen the creation of an impressive new BMX facility in Oldsmar, the new Sunwest Park in Hudson, and much more.
In Florida, we have stayed on pace for over five years with continually increasing numbers of visitors. Brand USA is making this happen, without using taxpayer dollars. Brand USA is a public-private partnership that serves as the nation’s first cooperative destination marketing organization. The organization is charged with growing America’s share of the global travel market, and Brand USA’s efforts have proven to be effective.
I have worked hard in our nation’s capital to ensure this trend can continue. Last year, my “Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act,” to reauthorize Brand USA, was signed into law. Since then, we have continued to see significant growth in our local economy.
Florida Trend recently reported our state set another record in tourism this year. According to the article and data from Visit Florida we have some impressive numbers to boast about:
7.9 Million – visitors to our state in 9 months, 5.5 percent increase over the previous year
1.2 Million – Floridians employed in the tourism industry
67.4 Million – domestic visitors for the first three quarters of 2015
8.3 Million – overseas visitors for the first three quarters of 2015
3.4 Million – Canadians for the first three quarters of 2015
Earlier this year, I was honored by the U.S. Travel Association with its “Distinguished Travel Champion Award.” It is truly my privilege to help create jobs and enhance our local economy. I remain dedicated to making sure Florida, and our nation, continues to grow.
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., the vice chairman of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee, was first elected to Congress in 2006.