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April 01, 2019



Excellent points. The proof and data supports that DMO’s enhance economic benefits by attracting corporate investment and growing future residency numbers. However I read an interesting blog earlier today, and I’m wondering how we can inject the needs of current residents in the work that DMO’s are charged with. Collectively the visitor experience and the resident experience could be much more powerful and beneficial when collaboration and inclusive engagement occurs. Because ultimately the “people” are the purpose for which public servants dutifully serve. Unfortunately future residents and corporate investment does not count as votes or support. So the shortsighted legislators who could be responding to their current residents needs, might be better equipped If the current voters were a part of the tourism discussion, planning, programming and perhaps just maybe if both sides listened to each other everyone could work together to help develop a vision and enhance Florida as a destination.

Bill Geist

With your experience in the field...you know that's exactly what is needed. But, I'm sure you also recognize how difficult such an endeavor is to achieve; how hard it is to get citizens to engage before they get pissed off. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Looking forward to a conversation that could change the world, my friend. And, welcome to the dark side (or the light, depending on one's point of view). ;)

Mary Kay Vrba

Great points, and it does take a lot of time, but inclusion of local citizens is important, conversations and face to face time pay off. Dialogue must continue and the benefits must be shown, it's a long term investment, just finished a round table discussion with each town and village leadership in our county with our planning commission about tourism, what it is and what it means for their environment, working the results into overall master plan and strategic plan.

Bill Geist

And, that's why you rock :)

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