The FAA watches several issues during each Legislative Session, and issues position statements on behalf of the Board of Directors each year to be used during our legislative activities. While we recognize that not every member will agree with the position statements, we believe that these statements represent the collective position of the Association membership. The Board and the Association take a holistic, statewide view on the issues, and take positions that they believe are in the best interests of a majority of our members and of Florida tourism at large.
Read the positions taken by the FAA on behalf of its members.
VISIT FLORIDA Funding: We believe that tourism is the most important driver of our state's economy. We support Governor Rick Scott's budget recommendation for $85 million in public funding for VISIT FLORIDA and support his challenge to our industry to attract even more visitors to Florida through positive, sustainable growth.
School Calendar: We believe the legislative intent of the school start date statute should be preserved without exemptions for “academically high-performing school districts” and that the “14 days before Labor Day” start date rule should be maintained.
Family Arcades: In 2013, the Florida Legislature took action to close “Internet Cafes” and “Senior Arcades” – businesses that were running illegal gambling games. Unfortunately, language in that bill also casts doubt on the model of family-oriented redemption games found in arcades and other public places. We support SB 268 and HB 641 that clarify the Legislature's intent and ensure the continued availability of games suitable for wholesome family arcade fun.
Tourism Development Taxes ("Bed Tax"): We oppose additional expansion of the uses of Tourism Development Taxes. “Bed taxes” should be used by local Tourist Development Councils & DMOs to promote their county and attract more visitors, and should not be a funding source for local governments to provide essential services. Tourists to Florida already pay a quarter of all sales taxes collected.
Expansion of Casinos: The FAA opposes any expansion of gambling casinos in Florida, and encourages the Florida Legislature to recognize the long-term benefits of maintaining Florida's unique tourism position in the world. The Florida “brand” is worthy of our efforts to protect her against outside interests seeking to capitalize on our destination preeminence by adding additional casinos to the Sunshine State landscape.
Animal Protection & Activists: No one appreciates and protects animals like zoos & aquariums who are dedicated to preserving & protecting wildlife, and who serve as a conduit to educate and inspire the public about the Earth's wonders. Unfortunately, “animal rights” groups are threatening the existence of our member attractions through unfounded accusations and actions. We stand by our members and their commitment to promoting the welfare and conservation of wildlife at their attractions.