From Tampa Bay Times‘ Jeremy Wallace, 11/25/16:
Incoming Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has already said he’s against further funding for Scott’s cherished jobs incentive program. Now he’s taking aim at the state’s tourism marketing arm.
Visit Florida has seen its budget grow from about $29 million to more than $78 million since 2009, a 169 percent increase in spending. Meanwhile, the number of tourists in Florida has grown from about 82 million to more than 106 million, a 29 percent increase during the same period. …
Corcoran, however, says he anticipates a drop in tourism that is forcing him to consider slashing the state’s marketing budget, which is ripe for second-guessing.
Visit Florida has come under fire over the last few years for failing to disclose how much it is spending on some of its marketing, including paying hip-hop star Pitbull to promote the state, sponsorship of a race car team and a soccer team in England. Officials with Visit Florida, which receives both public and private funding, have claimed they don’t have to release details for those expenses because it is considered proprietary information. Even what Pitbull is being paid to do has not been publicly disclosed, let alone how much money he was paid in a contract that ended on June 30.