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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.



  • Tourist Development Taxes: Achieved policy victories. Twice defeated state legislation (2020 & 2021) that intended to divert TDT funds away from tourism marketing, preserving tens of millions of dollars of yearly funding.
  • Legislative Champions: Developed legislative champions among members of Florida Senate leadership and the Miami-Dade delegation. Senate leaders stood firm with us and went to bat to exclude TDT language in yearly taxation bills.
  • Vacation Rentals: Worked with statewide partners to defeat yearly vacation rental preemption bills that threatened to eliminate local oversight ordinances. Our advocacy and engagement from members successfully informed legislators regarding impacts from STR and the important role of local oversight and enforcement.
  • Visit Florida: Advocated alongside industry partners to fully fund Visit Florida and to remove its sunset from Florida code.


Miami Beach

  • 2am Last Call: Advocated to city leaders to oppose change of last call time to 2am. Working with partners to oppose a non-binding referendum on the November ballot.
  • Opening Ocean Drive: Monitoring ongoing city debate about reopening Ocean Drive and informing city leaders about the impact to hotels in the pedestrianized area.
  • Tourism Industry Restrictions: Engaging with city commissioners and planning board members to preempt any consideration of restrictions or caps on hotel room counts.
  • Vacation Rentals: Worked with the city government to pass an ordinance strengthening enforcement of vacation rentals regulations citywide.

Miami-Dade County

  • Covid-19 Response: Worked with the county government to keep hotels open and develop reasonable regulations for their operation during the pandemic. Worked with the county government and civic organizations to secure financial support for displaced tourism industry workers.
  • Tourism Marketing Funding: Successfully advocated to the commission in support of allocating $5M federal Covid recovery funds towards tourism marketing at the GMCVB.
  • Tourism Industry Investments: Helped industry allies to achieve policy victories, such as F1 Miami Grand Prix, Ultra Music Festival, and Miami Beach Conv. Center Hotel.
  • Vacation Rentals: Worked with the county government to pass a vacation rentals ordinance to provide registration and oversight of property listings.


  • Research: Conducted public opinion polling and online surveys of association members to better understand the public sentiment and the policy landscape.
  • Communications: Developed earned media, published op-eds, and secured favorable coverage in support of public policy goals.
  • Calls-To-Action: Integrated industry members into advocacy efforts resulting in thousands of emails and calls made by members to legislators and other elected officials.


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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