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Sometimes Sunshine Sucks

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAQSAAAAJGQ0NDVmZDJjLTE4MDUtNGFlYS1iNjg5LWQ1Mzc5MWE2MDI3MAWe've been spending an inordinate amount of attention on the machinations of Florida Tourism as of late. But, it's because the State has become an impressive case study of how a dominant Brand and product can so lose its way at the hands of self-absorbed legislators advancing legislation that sounds good on the outside, but is crippling on the inside.

The concept behind Sunshine Laws is solid. The people should be able to secure the truth regarding how government spends the taxes it has extracted from its citizenry. But, when that same law prevents government from providing a high level of ROI, somebody (besides the bureaucrats) needs to step in and say "No Mas."

Florida already struggles to attract the best and the brightest DMO CEOs because candidates know they'll likely be outed in the process because Florida's Sunshine Laws allow it. And, if someone has a sweet gig in another destination, that individual is probably not interested in letting the home crowd (and their Board) know that they're contemplating moving on.

Now, at least 12 DMOs have elected to disaffiliate with Visit Florida because of new rules that would force DMO Board Members to reveal their salary and finances. 

And, now...another wrinkle. The law prohibits Visit Florida Board Members from meeting with other Visit Florida Board Members outside of posted meetings. Which has resulted in the CEO of the Florida Attractions Association to resign his seat. In the announcement, Bill Lupfer said "I am now free to work with Visit Florida Board members, other tourism industry leaders and especially our FAA members to develop a new vision for how our state's (Destination Marketing Organization) can best serve our industry, free of government restrictions, bureaucratic governance and political games."

Nailed he can be so much more impactful outside the Board than handcuffed within it.

But, isn't that a sad commentary on what Sunshine Laws have wrought?


Bill Geist

Bill GeistBill Geist

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