Visit Florida gets millions in state money but little public oversight


Surprise! The same folks at Visit Florida who won't tell you how much Pitbull is paid to be the state's tourism ambassador also don't want to talk about the money they're spending.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the public-private state tourism agency will get $78 million this year in taxpayer money, but has little oversight from state officials and bars its contracts from the public eye. Visit Florida "hasn't been subjected to the in-depth government audits that other state agencies undergo each year," the Sentinel says. 

"Taxpayers have paid thousands of dollars for Chinese and other foreign journalists to vacation in the Keys and unknown amounts of money on secret contracts for celebrities, race car drivers and soccer teams to promote the Sunshine State," according to the Sentinel

Read the rest of the Sentinel's story here

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.