Gov. Scott pushes for lawmakers to spend $100M on travel advertisements


ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9's Roy Ramos asked why money is being allotted to for-profit entities like Disney World, who have their own marketing money.

Gov. Rick Scott was at Orlando International Airport on Friday and called on lawmakers to spend $100 million on travel advertising next year.  The funds are expected to drive more tourism to the Sunshine State.

"It is $100 million to get more tourists and more jobs for Florida families," said Scott. "We always have to remember that this is your money.  It is our taxpayers' money so we have to spend it wisely, but spending it wisely to create more tourists, creates more jobs."

Florida residents reacted to the largest tourism subsidy in state history, and not all were in favor of the funding.

"I think that it is a good idea to invest in tourism for the state of Florida. It is one of our biggest industries," said resident Kevin McEvoy.

"More money should be donated, maybe to the cities to bring money into cities like this and not just International Drive," said resident Carol Horner.

Scott, joined by executives from Universal Orlando, Disney World and Seaworld Orlando, said the Visit Florida's budget boost would provide the agency with opportunities to draw in tourism both domestic and international.

"With this funding, Visit Florida will be able to market the Sunshine State year round," said Scott.

While the big boost to Visit Florida's budget seems like a win-win for the state and residents, Channel 9 decided to ask why taxpayer dollars were paying for advertisement toward for-profit businesses. 

One would think a business like Disney World would have the funds to advertise for themselves.

"When the tourist comes in here, there is an additional amount of money that is put on to their room rate, and that tax is simply paid by the tourist, turned around and provided to us so that we can continue to drive more tourism into the community," said George Aguel of Visit Orlando.