Travel Industry Message Regarding the Expansion of Use for TDT Dollars

Advocacy Materials

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) alongside The Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA) is calling on Miami-Dade County’s travel industry to rally together and appeal to state elected leaders in response to recent legislation that will devastate marketing and promotion of our local tourism industry. With only two weeks remaining in session, the bill would redirect use of tourism tax dollars in Miami-Dade County away from tourism promotional purposes towards other uses severely impacting our industry and the viability of the GMCVB.

(Here is a link to the page that has the original filed bill (HB 7097) and amendments thus far. To reference bill language, go to the section called “Bill Text” and click on “Original Filed Version” - the section concerning tourist taxes begins on page 8.)

If passed, the new legislation will also weaken the global Greater Miami and Beaches brand by diverting and dividing tourism tax dollars amongst multiple entities rather than under one unified marketing effort that leverages all of the GMCVB expertise, resources and private investment.

After more than 35 years promoting Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure travel, meetings and conventions and big events, the GMCVB knows first-hand the risk of losing our competitiveness in the global marketplace. If we reduce tourism marketing or have a fragmented approach to promoting our destination to the world, we will lose market share, economic impact and jobs.

The proposed changes threaten the future of tourism marketing in Miami-Dade County as well as the strength of our travel industry. We have come together in the past to confront certain issues or to support important causes. Whether dealing with oil spills, or fund raising for our neighbors in the Caribbean after Hurricanes or coming together to sign a hotel pledge to assist with mosquito abatement during the Zika crisis – Greater Miami’s travel, hospitality and hotel industry is a strong and unified community.

We ask the industry to unite and support us now. It is critical that Miami-Dade’s travel industry contact their Florida Representatives and Senators by phone and email to express concerns over redirecting tourism taxes away from a unified tourism marketing.

Below are suggested speaking points as well as a roster of our elected officials with contact information.

Thank you,

WILLIAM D. TALBERT, III, CDME
President & CEO
Greater Miami Convention& Visitors Bureau

WENDY KALLERGIS
President & CEO
Greater Miami & Beaches Hotel Association


TOURISM TAXES SHOULD BE USED TO MARKET TOURISM

Tourism taxes were created specifically to pool funds for tourism promotion. Expanding uses abolishes voter intent and the purpose of the TDT.

Before 1985, tourism was in a decline in Miami-Dade County. The TDT was created 30 years ago because our hotel and tourism community requested the tax on its own industry for reinvestment into tourism marketing programs. Our industry opted to forego a portion of profits in order to invest in marketing programs to keep Greater Miami competitive in the global market. Today, due in large part to GMCVB’s sales and marketing programs along with strong community partnerships, Greater Miami has grown into a strong global brand that increases in demand year-over-year.

Tourism marketing by GMCVB is highly successful and indispensable to Miami-Dade.

Tourism to Miami-Dade generates $18 billion in annual economic impact supporting 147,000 jobs. Tourism fuels the growth of our airport and seaport, which are the Miami-Dade’s largest economic engines, and other major industries such as trade and real estate that drive economic development.

GMCVB’s tourism marketing has increased visitors to Miami-Dade to new records every year, attracting 23 million visitors in 2018. For every $1 the GMCVB spends on our marketing programs, the organization achieves a return of $63 of economic impact in our community, including local municipalities. Over the past 5 years, the GMCVB sales team has booked 4,000 convention meetings bringing 2.4 million delegates and generating $1.05 billion dollars in economic impact to our community.

The proposed changes to divert tourism taxes and divide them amongst municipalities would devastate tourism marketing and hurt our community's economy and quality of life.

A decrease to GMCVB marketing dollars will weaken the Greater Miami brand, make it less competitive in the global marketplace, and risks jeopardizing our community’s top industry. Creating a system where funds are divided and used by other entities with little to no experience in global tourism marketing will destroy the effectiveness of promotional efforts and eliminate our comprehensive countywide marketing strategy.

Tourists and the local tourism industry pay their fair share to support local government services through tourist taxes and a large portion of all the sales and property taxes collected in Miami-Dade.

Tourists pay approximately 38% of all sales taxes collected in Miami-Dade County totaling $1.25 billion annually, or $1,744 per household per year. They also pay approximately $270 million in tourist taxes which is $515 per household. In addition, hotels pay a large portion of all the property taxes collected. This revenue is used to provide government services such as water, sewer, infrastructure, and law enforcement. Without this revenue, Miami-Dade residents would need to pay more taxes each year to fund public services. The proposed bill would also force the tourism industry to replace diverted marketing funds having the effect of a large tax increase.

LEGISLATORS TO CONTACT
Senate:
President Bill Galvano (850) 487-5021 galvano.bill@flsenate.gov
Chairman Rob Bradley (Appropriations) (850) 487-5005 bradley.rob@flsenate.gov
Majority Leader Kathleen Passidomo (850) 487-5028 passidomo.kathleen@flsenate.gov
Deputy Majority Leader Anitere Flores (850) 487-5039 flores.anitere@flsenate.gov
Senator Kelli Stargel (850) 487-5022 stargel.kelly@flsenate.gov
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto (850) 487-5027 benacquisto.lizbeth@flsenate.gov
Senator Joe Gruters (850) 487-5023 gruters.joe@flsenate.gov
Senator Manny Diaz Jr. (850) 487-5036 diaz.manny@flsenate.gov
Senator Annette Taddeo (850) 487-5040 taddeo.annette@flsenate.gov
Senator Jason Pizzo (850) 487-5038 pizzo.jason@flsenate.gov
Senator Oscar Braynon (850) 487-5035 braynon.oscar@flsenate.gov
Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez (850) 487-5037 rodriguez.jose@flsenate.gov
 
House of Representatives:
 
House Speaker Jose Oliva (850) 717-5110 jose.oliva@myfloridahouse.gov
House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee (850) 717-5117 kionne.mcghee@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Bryan Avila (850) 717-5111 bryan.avila@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Daniel Perez (850) 717-5116 daniel.perez@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Vance Aloupis (850) 717-5115 vance.aloupis@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Anthony Rodriguez (850) 717-5118 anthony.rodriguez@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin (850) 717-5119 juanf.barquin@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez (850) 717-5105 anamaria.rodriguez@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Holly Raschein (850) 717-5120 holly.raschein@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Nick Duran (850) 717-5112 nicholas.duran@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Javier Fernandez (850) 717-5114 javier.fernandez@myfloridahouse.go
Rep. James Bush III (850) 717-5109 james.bush@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Joseph Geller (850) 717-5100 joseph.geller@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Michael Grieco (850) 717-5113 michael.grieco@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Dotie Joseph (850) 717-5108 dotie.joseph@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Barbara Watson (850) 717-5107 barbara.watson@myfloridahouse.gov
Rep. Sharon Pritchett (850) 717-5102 sharon.pritchett@myfloridahouse.gov
 

 

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