Last week Film Florida had the opportunity to participate in the Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism, presented by VISIT FLORIDA. This is the third straight year that Film Florida has participated in the Conference, and the second consecutive year that we presented the Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador Award during the opening night Chairman’s Dinner.

We had the honor of presenting the award to actress Sharon Gless, known for her roles on Cagney and Lacey, Queer as Folk, Nip/Tuck and of course as Madeline Westen on Burn Notice, just to name a few. Ms. Gless has lived in Florida for 22 years and has been an advocate for our industry as well as an ambassador for the entire state. During her acceptance speech, Ms. Gless spoke passionately about the importance of our industry to the state economicly but specifically how it impacts the tourism industry. We were thrilled to have Ms. Gless with us and can’t thank her enough for her support of the film, TV and digital media industry in Florida. Click below to watch a portion of her acceptance speech.

In addition to the award presentation, Film Florida had a booth set up during the entire conference, where members of the organization talked with hundreds of conference attendees about our organization and our industry. Whether it was a local attraction, a regional tourism development council or a state wide hotel/resort flag, we had great conversations about the undeniable connection between our industry and the tourism industry and more importantly, how we can continue to work together more which in turn benefits the entire state. VISIT FLORIDA’s statistic says 22.7% of domestic visitors stated a movie or TV show filmed in Florida influenced their decision to travel to here. We are proud to support our state’s #1 industry and we know the tourism industry understands the positive impact we bring to the state.

It was a great 3 days in Orlando and we cannot thank VISIT FLORIDA enough for having us, supporting our overall efforts, and also supporting the Film Florida Legends Tourism Ambassador Award. We appreciate everyone coming by our booth to offer support and kind words and we look forward to attending next year’s conference in Ft. Lauderdale.