The Board of Directors for Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, approved over $130,000 in raises for CEO of Visit Florida Dana Young and her staff members.
As reported by The News Service of Florida, Young received an 8% increase in salary in addition to a $7,500 bonus while the Board directed her to allocate up to $130,000 in performance raises among different staff members.
With the boost in salary, Young will now make $189,000 a year as opposed to $175,000 a year. Before the recent raise, $120,000 of her salary came from state funds, whereas now, her entire salary will be funded by the private sector of Visit Florida. As far as the staff member bonuses, they will also be covered by private funds.
Visit Florida is a non-profit corporation established in 1996 as a public and private partnership by the Florida Legislature that appropriates public funds or taxpayer money to tourism marketing. In 2021, the Florida tourism marketing budget consists of $75 million in state and federal funds.
Visit Florida is responsible for fully matching the public funds with private funds made through investments by over 130,000 organizations part of the state’s tourism industry including: Disney Destinations, Universal Orlando Resort, Busch Gardens Tampa, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Hilton, and SeaWorld Parks and Resorts Orlando. As stated by Visit Florida, “for every $1 the state invests in, $3.27 in state tax revenue is generated” backed by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research.
According to Visit Florida, their mission is to “facilitate tourism industry participation in domestic and international travel trade and consumer shows, as well as media missions to the top global visitor markets” by working “closely with travel agents, tour operators, meeting and event planners, and… operating Florida’s four Official Welcome Centers.”
Although 2020 saw a significant hit in Florida’s tourism industry because of the pandemic, the raises come as a result of Young and Visit Florida strongly contributing to the tourism industry having a positive recovery and growing numbers in 2021 with strides in making Florida an open state as other states struggle to get back to normal.
– – –
Casey Owens is a contributing writer at The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]