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January 11, 2018
FLORIDA TOURISM LEADERS APPLAUD GOVERNOR SCOTT'S LEADERSHIP IN PROTECTING FLORIDA'S BEACHES
TALLAHASSEE, Fla-Today, Florida Tourism leaders voiced their support for Governor Scott's leadership in removing Florida's coastline from any potential oil drilling. Florida is home to 825 miles of world-class beaches that attract millions of visitors every year. In 2017, Siesta Key was named the number one beach in America, and Florida had three beaches in the top 10.
President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA Ken Lawson, said "Exempting Florida from any offshore drilling is a huge win for tourism in our state. Florida's beaches are a global icon, attracting millions of visitors to the Sunshine State every year. By keeping offshore drilling away from Florida, we're ensuring our world-class beaches will remain beautiful for generations to come. Governor Scott has been a champion for tourism in Florida, and I want to thank him for his strong leadership on this important issue."
Chair of VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors Maryann Ferenc, said "By keeping Florida's waters free of oil drilling, Florida's tourism industry scored a huge win. Caring for our environment in Florida and elsewhere is critical to our well-being and can be achieved alongside economic prosperity. Our beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, helping us attract millions of visitors each year. We now have peace of mind as we market our state that those beaches will be beautiful and safe. I appreciate the Governor taking a lead on this important issue."
Stephen Leatherman, aka "Dr. Beach", said "Florida's beaches are some of the best in the world, and have consistently been in my rankings of top beaches, with Siesta Key being last year's top overall beach. Tourism is the largest industry in Florida, and their beaches are a large part of that. With the recent decision to keep Florida's coastline free of any oil drilling, Florida is ensuring those beaches will remain flawless treasures that attract people from all across the world. I want to thank Governor Scott for his leadership on this issue and for fighting for tourism in Florida."
Steve Hayes, President & CEO of Visit Pensacola, said "Keeping offshore drilling out of Florida is absolutely the right decision, and I want to thank Governor Scott for leading the charge on this. In the panhandle, we know better than most the harmful effects offshore drilling can have because our beaches are woven into every aspect of our life here, from fishing to tourism to our restaurants and lodging and everything in between. By keeping our beaches clean, we're putting Northwest Florida and our state on track to become the number one global destination."
Bill Talbert, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Conventions and Visitors Bureau, said "Florida would not be the global destination that it is without our world-class beaches. Thanks to Governor Scott's leadership to ensure there is no offshore oil drilling in Florida, our beaches will be safe and secure for generations to come. We will continue to attract millions of visitors thanks to this recent decision and sell Florida's sunshine to the rest of the world."
Dan Rowe, President & CEO of Visit Panama City Beach, said "Thanks to Governor Scott's leadership, Florida's beaches are free from the potential harms of offshore drilling. In the panhandle, we saw firsthand the devastating effects offshore drilling can have not just on our beaches, but on our environment, economy, and way of life. Our beaches are so very important to us in Northwest Florida, and I want to thank the Governor for his leadership to ensure our beaches will be pristine for generations to come."
Santiago Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said "For us to continue to set records as an industry, we have to ensure our environment remains world-class. In Tampa Bay, our beautiful water and Bayfront are vital to attracting tourists from across the country and around the world. Keeping offshore oil drilling out of our state is a great step to ensure we keep our treasures pristine."
Bobby Cornwell, President & CEO of the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, said "The beauty of Florida's beaches is unparalleled, and keeping them pristine is so important. Thanks to Governor Scott's leadership, our coastline will remain free of any oil drilling. We can now rest assured that our 825 miles of beautiful white sand and clear water will remain intact for our resident, visitors, and the rest of the world to enjoy.
Curt Blair, Administrator of Franklin County Tourism Development Council, said "In Franklin County, we've seen firsthand the devastating effects of offshore drilling. Our beaches in the Panhandle are world-renown, and keeping them beautiful is so important not just for our visitors, but our residents as well. By keeping offshore drilling out of Florida, we're ensuring that our beaches, fisheries, and overall economy will remain vibrant. I want to thank Governor Scott for keeping offshore drilling out of Florida and for his leadership on tourism issues."
Jack Wert, Executive Director of Naples, Marco Island and Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, said "I want to thank Governor Scott for standing up for Florida's beaches and fighting to remove our state from the list of offshore drilling zones. Florida's beaches are some of the best in the world, and without them, we wouldn't be a top destination for visitors. Our beaches and environment play a huge role in our economy, and with this decision, we're ensuring that we're keeping them safe and clean."
Danny Gaekwad, President & CEO of MGM Hotels, said "I want to thank Governor Scott for being such a steadfast supporter of tourism in our state. He singlehandedly took offshore drilling off the table in Florida, which is great news for our beaches and state. We will see the fruits of this for years to come thanks to the best tourism Governor in the country."
Gene Prescott, Owner of the historic Biltmore Hotel and the Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater, said "Keeping our beaches beautiful is one of the most important things we can do as a state and as an industry. Our beaches enhance our quality of life while at the same time attracting millions of visitors from around the world each and every year. With the decision to remove Florida from any offshore drilling, we've cemented that legacy. I want to thank Governor Scott, Senators Nelson and Rubio who fought hard to keep our beaches clean and this legacy intact."
Keith Hansen, Vice President of Airport & Government Affairs for Allegiant Airlines, said Florida's beaches are some of the most unique treasures in the world, and keeping their environment pristine is a critical attraction for tourism across the country, and around the globe. The decision to keep Florida's coastline free of offshore oil drilling will ensure the state continues to be a premier destination for visitors, and we thank Governor Scott for his leadership on this issue.