We promote and advance the interests of the attraction industry and are the conduit that enables our diverse membership to achieve a greater level of excellence.
More than seventy years ago, several tourist attraction pioneers committed themselves to excellence in their industry and a premier experience for their guests. These Florida landmarks – which include Cypress Gardens, Monkey Jungle, Parrot Jungle, and Silver Springs – formally united in 1949 as a not-for-profit corporation in order to guarantee quality, fair pricing, and ethical operational practices. The Florida Attractions Association was born.
Now, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our member attractions, Florida herself has become the hallmark for tourism across the nation and the globe. Combined with the allure of Florida’s bountiful beaches and endless sunshine, our attractions offer an experience like no other in the world.
Our ranks have grown exponentially since our humble beginnings. From those few trailblazers, a thriving community of over 120 attractions has firmly rooted itself in the hearts of travelers everywhere. In addition to major theme parks, the Association’s attraction members include historical landmarks, sensational museums and exhibits, zoos and aquariums teeming with wildlife, majestic gardens, sightseeing tours and cruises, outdoor adventures, family entertainment centers, theaters, innovators in agritourism and ecotourism, and much more.
In recent years, the Association has also added a wide range of industry suppliers to its ranks. These member business provide needed products and services to our attractions, and share their commitment to excellence and the guest experience.
Membership in the Florida Attraction Association is very prestigious. Our members are lauded for being “Florida’s finest family attractions,” adhering to only the highest standards. Members commit to a Code of Practices that guarantees their guests the finest levels of cleanliness, courtesy, hospitality, and integrity.
Each attraction member does its own marketing and promotion, but is also committed to success for its peers. Industry leaders gather at networking and education events throughout the year to share winning strategies and help each other grow. This extraordinary commitment to our industry and to each other has helped us weather many challenges and storms. The Association acts as a strong advocate on behalf of its members before local and state government, and partners with national and international groups on larger issues. We also provide a resource for our members when emergencies strike, such as natural and environmental disasters. This exceptional brand of “Florida friendliness” is one of the reasons many of our members have supported the Association for many years, some since its inception.
Tourism is the largest industry in Florida. With over 1 million employees and over $4 billion in sales tax revenue (23% of all state tax revenues), tourism is a powerful economic driver and promises to grow even stronger in the coming years.
Thanks to the efforts of VISIT FLORIDA, the Sunshine State’s public/private marketing partnership, nearly 92 million travelers (including 20 million in-state visitors) crossed our borders in 2012, pumping $25 billion into the economy. Internationally, Florida ranks as a top destination, with 1 of 5 U.S. travelers coming to Florida. Our attractions, hotels, and restaurants have welcomed guests from 184 countries.
In the ever-growing realm of marketing and social media, tourism is also capturing the attention and imagination of the world. With billions of social media impressions and explosive growth in Web traffic, Florida tourism is sending a powerful message. This message is translating directly into sales: every advertising dollar spent turns into $258 in tourism spending and $15 in new sales taxes.
Plus, every 85 visitors creates a tourism job in Florida; the industry supports 14.3% of all working Floridians. Our attractions are a driving component of this success and growth, employing over 342,000 people and generating a total economic impact of $45 billion.