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  • 150,000 workforce
  • $18 billion of yearly economic impact
  • 24.2 million visitors in 2019
  • $1.25 billion of yearly sales taxes paid by tourists


GMBHA is advised by its government affairs consultant Armando Ibarra and his team located in Miami and Tallahassee.


Successful January legislative advocacy trip for GMCVB leaders. Organized more than a dozen meetings with key legislators.

  • Legislative session begins Tuesday, March 7th
  • Concludes Friday, May 5th
  • Tourism day is March 22
  • Dade Days is March 29-30

Visit Florida: Governor requests $100M of funding, which is double what the agency has received each of the past three years.

TDT Expansion: Legislation to create a new authorized use for Tourist Development Taxes in "fiscally constrained counties" (ie rural) on the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic Ocean, to use 10 percent of tourist development tax revenues to reimburse for certain expenses incurred for public safety or emergency services.

  • HB 309 by Rep. Shoaf, SB 640 by Sen. Simon
  • Likely to apply to Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, and Nassau counties.
  • House bill referenced to 3 committees but not heard yet. First committee will be House Ways & Means. Senate version has not been referenced to committees.

Vacation Rentals: Legislation to declare that local laws, ordinances, or regulations requiring vacation rental owners or operators to provide the local government with certain contact information are not prohibited or preempted to the state.

  • HB 105 by Basabe, SB 92 by Garcia.
  • Referenced to 3 committees in each chamber but not heard yet.
  • Additional vacation rental bills are likely to be filed.

Miami Beach: City commission passes ordinance setting last call at 2:00am in the South of 5th neighborhood.

  • Provides an exemption for venues with occupancy capacity of 100 or fewer.
  • Ted's Hideaway and The Scapegoat are exempted because capacity is fewer than 100.
  • Ordinance impacts Story Nightclub.
  • Expect it to be challenged in court.

City of Miami: Special election this Monday, February 27th for district 2 commission seat vacated by Ken Russell.

Other local elections: In Coral Gables, Mayor Lago re-elected without opposition.

  • April: Bay Harbor, Miami Springs, Coral Gables, Miami Shores
  • May: Bal Harbour, Sweetwater
  • October: Homestead
  • November: Hialeah, Miami, Miami Beach

Resort Fees: In his State of the Union address, President Biden urged Congress to pass a " Junk Fee Prevention Act" to ban surprise fees.

  • Proposes to ban "surprise" resort and destination fees; requiring that hotels include resort and other fees in the price of the room.
  • A bill has not been filed in Congress yet.
  • American Hotel and Lodging Association statement:

“AHLA will continue to work with the Biden administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill to ensure a level playing field around transparency for mandatory fees, such as hotel resort fees. These fees provide guests with value and include various unique goods and services at each property that charges them. It is crucial that the same standards for fee display apply across the lodging booking ecosystem, including for hotels, as well as online travel agencies, metasearch sites, and short-term rental platforms.”


Our advocacy team works with our members and partners to understand regulatory requirements and advise them on strategies to better achieve public policy goals.

Armando Ibarra
Ai Advisory Inc.
(786) 514-2965

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