TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (June 6, 2013) – With the start of its new fiscal year on July 1, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – ushers in new leadership to serve on its Executive Committee, Board of Directors and industry committees. More than 200 VISIT FLORIDA partners, including some of the industry’s foremost experts, have been selected to represent the tourism industry for the upcoming term.
Tammy Gustafson, Director of National and Group Sales for Universal Orlando Resort, will take over as the 2013-14 Chair. Gustafson succeeds Glenn Hastings, Executive Director of the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, who served as Chair during a year in which Florida welcomed a second consecutive record number of visitors, visitor spending and tourism-related employment.
“As a tireless promoter of Florida tourism for nearly four decades, Glenn has done a tremendous job leading the industry as we joined together to commemorate the state’s 500th anniversary,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. "As we build on this momentum, I cannot think of a better successor than Tammy who brings years of experience and extensive travel industry knowledge to her new leadership position.”
The Board of Directors is the organization’s private sector governing body who, along with the members of its 11 committees, provide guidance, input and insight into the evolution of VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing programs. The 31-member board, which is appointed by Enterprise Florida in conjunction with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, is comprised of representatives from key sectors of the tourism industry and is balanced geographically throughout the state. The nine-member Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, made up of the officers and standing committee chairs, serves as the highest level of VISIT FLORIDA’s volunteer leadership.
"Throughout its history, VISIT FLORIDA’s greatest strength has been that it is industry driven," said Glenn Hastings, out-going Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. “The best and brightest minds in the Florida tourism industry have helped guide VISIT FLORIDA to make it the pre-eminent model of how the private and public sectors can successfully work together in support of destination marketing.”
During her year as Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, Gustafson has indicated she will focus on promoting the strength of the state’s No. 1 industry by generating increased opportunities for leadership to address key audiences.
“I’m honored to be able to serve the tourism industry as its Chair and, with so much breadth and depth of experience on the Executive Committee, Board and committees, I look forward to tapping into that collective expertise to expand VISIT FLORIDA’s presence in the state,” said Gustafson. “Coming off of back-to-back record setting years, the future of Florida tourism looks bright – and with the additional funding provided by the Legislature for tourism marketing, we are in a great position to have Florida become the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”
To view a list of all Executive Committee, Board of Directors and committee members sorted by county, please click here. To read brief bios on each of the nine Executive Committee members, please click here. For additional information or for assistance with setting up interviews with any VISIT FLORIDA’s volunteer leadership, please contact Kathy Torian at 850-205-3865 or ktorian@VISITFLORIDA.org.
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 91.4 million visitors in 2012 who spent $71.8 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing more than one million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates more than $258 in tourism spending and $15 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including 2,700 invested Partners, 8,900 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to www.VISITFLORIDA.org or follow our corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org.