Dana Young Seeks Industry’s Input as She Takes the Helm at VISIT FLORIDA

On her first day as president and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, former State Senator Dana Young met with FADMO’s Mat Forrest and Robert Skrob at her office. Young is no stranger to FADMO; in fact, she was named the association’s 2018 Tourism Champion for her efforts to kill legislation that would have prevented DMOs from promoting their destinations, attracting visitors and generating customers for tourism-related jobs. After starting her new job on January 9, Young began traveling throughout the state to meet with as many DMO directors as possible.

Young, a sixth-generation Floridian, is a product of the Florida public school system and received her undergraduate degree in political science from Florida State University. In pursuit of her interests in law and public policy, she graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1993 and returned to Florida to begin her legal career at Fowler, White, Boggs PA. Young served in the Florida House from 2010 to 2016, rising to House Republican leader. Most recently, she served as a senator for District 18 in Hillsborough County.
“As we enter 2019, Florida tourism has much to celebrate,” Young says. “We have achieved seven consecutive years of record visitation and visitor spending, and in 2017, Florida welcomed a record 118.8 million visitors to the state. In 2018, Florida set another tourism record, welcoming 95.8 million visitors from January through September, the highest number of visitors in any nine months in our state’s history. Tourism stimulates our economy and creates jobs unlike any other industry in our state. According to the latest economic impact study, in 2016, visitors had a $112 billion economic impact and supported 1.4 million Florida jobs.
“Thanks to our more than 12,000 partners, including destination marketing organizations from across the state, Florida is well poised to build on this momentum and continue to strengthen Florida’s economy. I look forward to working with our state’s DMOs to better engage travelers and attract even more visitors to our state.”