Q. What exactly are the quality-of-life benefits that tourism provides Miami-Dade County?
A. Every time a visitor spends money in a hotel or buys a meal at a restaurant, their dollars go to work for all of us in Miami-Dade. In addition to visitors paying tourist taxes, sales tax revenues are redistributed by the state government after being collected in Tallahassee and come back to us to help pay for schools, transportation, our public health system, parks, arts and cultural institutions, caring for the homeless and so much more. A robust tourism economy adds “Ws” in the wins’ column. Everyone, every day in Miami-Dade County is a recipient of tourism’s quality-of-life benefits.
Q. How do visitors really save each Miami-Dade household more than $2,500 a year?
A. Statewide, visitors pay about a third of all sales taxes. Whether they are here on vacation or business, their purchasing activities result in covering taxes that we don’t have to. According to Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, visitor spending in Miami-Dade County bolsters state and local tax revenues, which results in each resident household improving their economic wellbeing by $2,535.
Q. Shouldn’t there be a more balanced effort to support and promote tourism in Greater Miami and Miami Beach?
A. If tourism in Miami-Dade County was a person and held a job title, that title would be the chief executive officer of first impressions. Above and beyond being our community’s largest money maker, it also is our economic development superhero. When vacationers or business travelers first come here, their initial impressions of our destination can turn into a vision of what it means to work, live and play in our community. These images can come to life when visitors return to start a business which can diversify our economic base, relocate for a job opportunity or are compelled to put down roots because they are attracted to the quality of life we enjoy.
Q. How diversified are most jobs in tourism?
A. Let’s look at the big picture because there are so many employment options to mention. Jobs related to tourism in our community can cover A to Z and are often overlooked or not highlighted as key career opportunities. Let’s start with the travel-related transport sector: air traffic controller, ticketing agent, airfield operator, transport engineer, airport security officer, baggage handler, ground handling agent, flight planner. Events and activities: tour guide, event sales manager, event planner, sports instructor, entertainer, security specialist. Sales: tour operator, travel consultant, business development manager, destination specialist, travel insurance sales. Marketing and communications: travel writer, blogger, vlogger, social media influencer, travel journalist, marketing manager, photographer, advertising representative. Tourism development: tourism economist, policy analyst, corporate social responsibility officer, tourism development executive, project manager, legal counsel, researcher. Administration: Human resources, finance and accounting, recruitment, procurement. From entry level to senior management, tourism offers career options and lifestyle flexibility creating a niche for everyone.
Q. How do all the taxes related to tourism really work and where do they come from?
Better public safety, improved roads and public transportation options and improved schools for our children are leading beneficiaries. A portion of those tourist development and hotel food and beverage tax dollars and food and beverage tax (all restaurants in Miami Beach) go to the official destination marketing agency for Miami-Dade County, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, to create breakthrough engaging, evocative marketing campaigns that entice visitors to book a vacation or attend a convention or business meeting in Greater Miami and Miami Beach instead of a competing destination.