File Name: CITIZEN'S PRESENTATION WILLIAM D. TALBERT
Agenda Date: 5/9/2006
Agenda Item Number: 1E2
PRESENTATION BY WILLIAM D. TALBERT, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE GREATER MIAMI CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU RE: UPDATE ON THE STATE OF THE VISITOR INDUSTRY
Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Board of County Commissioners
Mr. Bill Talbert, President and CEO, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), appeared before the Board. He acknowledged the presence of Mr. Gene Prescott, First Vice-Chair, GMCVB Board. Mr. Talbert said next week would be celebrated as National Tourism Week and he thanked the Board members for their contribution to the tourism industry and the GMCVB. He provided an update on the state of the visitor industry and concluded by stating that job growth had increased and the visitor industry was doing very well.
Mr. Gene Prescott, First Vice-Chair, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau; and owner, Biltmore Hotel and the Alexander Hotel on Miami Beach, appeared before the Board. He noted the visitor industry experienced difficulties subsequent to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, however, in the last year and a half the industry had surpassed the Year 2000. Mr. Prescott said he anticipated the industry would experience a difficult time in the summer due to the hurricane season and difficulties with visitors visas.
In response to Commissioner Sorenson’s inquiry, Mr. Prescott said his hotels were participating in a water conservation program as well as many hotel chains throughout the country.
Responding to Commissioner Sorenson, Mr. Talbert said the GMCVB would encourage more participation in the water conservation program through its newsletters and hotel association partners.
Commissioner Seijas asked that the GMCVB develop a plan for the Board’s review providing for a support system for tourists visiting Miami-Dade County during the hurricane season.
Mr. Talbert noted the GMCVB had held several meetings with the hotel industry, government partners and weather forecasters. He also noted this year tourists would receive a document in multiple languages explaining what to do during hurricane season.
Commissioner Souto requested the GMCVB’s participation in the Miami International Livestock Show to be held next year. He noted he anticipated this would attract many visitors to Miami-Dade County.
Commissioner Moss noted the media needed to recognize the outstanding job being done by the GMCVB to bring visitors back to Miami-Dade County.
Commissioner Sosa commended Mr. Talbert and Mr. Prescott for their efforts subsequent to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. She asked Mr. Prescott to work with the Board to provide input for changes to be incorporated within the County’s Emergency Management Plan.
Chairman Martinez noted he was hopeful that when legislators in Tallahassee reduced funding to Miami-Dade County, they would be reminded that 32% of the $2.1 billion in state taxes were generated from Greater Miami and the Beaches.
Commissioner Heyman said Miami-Dade County’s tourism benefited everyone and she was appreciative that over 102,000 people in Miami-Dade County were directly involved in employment because of tourism.
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