(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of part I of chapter 287, upon the approval of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, shall contract with a direct-support organization incorporated as a private, not-for-profit corporation, as defined in s. 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, to execute the tourism marketing and promotion services, functions, and programs for this state including, but not limited to, the activities prescribed by the 4-year marketing plan. The Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development shall review such contract in an expedient manner and shall timely make any recommendations so as to allow for the date of the contract to be met. The commission shall serve as contract administrator.
(2) Shall advise the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development and the direct-support organization regarding the domestic and international tourism promotion programs for this state.
(3) Shall be responsible for the prudent use of all public and private funds and shall ensure that the use of such funds is in accordance with all applicable laws, bylaws, and contractual requirements.
(4)(a) Shall recommend the tenets of a 4-year marketing plan to sustain tourism growth, which plan shall be annual in construction and ongoing in nature. Any annual revisions of such a plan shall carry forward the concepts of the remaining 3-year portion of that plan and consider a continuum portion to preserve the 4-year timeframe of the plan.
(b) The plan shall include an emergency response component and research designs.
(c) The plan shall include provisions for the direct-support organization to reach the targeted one-to-one match of private to public contributions within a period of 4 calendar years after the implementation date of the plan. For the purposes of calculating the required one-to-one match, matching private funds shall be divided into four categories. The first category is direct cash contributions, which include, but are not limited to, cash derived from strategic alliances, contributions of stocks and bonds, and partnership contributions. The second category is fees for services, which include, but are not limited to, event participation, research, and brochure placement and transparencies. The third category is cooperative advertising, which is the value based on cost of contributed productions, air time, and print space. The fourth category is in-kind contributions, which include, but are not limited to, the value of strategic alliance services contributed, the value of loaned employees, discounted service fees, items contributed for use in promotions, and radio or television air time or print space for promotions. The value of air time or print space shall be calculated by taking the actual time or space and multiplying by the nonnegotiated unit price for that specific time or space which is known as the media equivalency value. In order to avoid duplication in determining media equivalency value, only the value of the promotion itself shall be included; the value of the items contributed for the promotion shall not be included. Documentation for the components of the four categories of private match shall be kept on file for inspection as determined necessary.
(d) The plan shall include recommendations regarding specific performance standards and measurable outcomes for the commission and its direct-support organization. The commission, in consultation with the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, shall develop a plan for monitoring its operations to ensure that performance data are maintained and supported by records of the organization.
(5) Shall develop an operational structure to carry out the marketing plan recommended by the commission pursuant to this section.
(6) May appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments, or other agencies of municipal, county, state, or federal government.
(7) In the performance of its duties, may undertake or commission marketing research and advertising research studies. (a) The identity of any person who responds to a marketing or advertising research project conducted pursuant to this subsection, and trade secrets, as defined by s. 812.081, obtained pursuant to such research, are confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. (b) Any person who violates the provisions of this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) Shall develop a budget, in conjunction with the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development, and in keeping with the commission’s 4-year marketing plan, for the operation and activities of the commission and for the provision of tourism promotion programs, services, and functions through a contract with a direct-support organization created for such purposes. The budget shall be submitted to the Governor.
(9) Is authorized to establish and operate tourism offices in foreign countries in the execution of its responsibilities for promoting the development of tourism. To facilitate the performance of these responsibilities, the commission is authorized to contract with the commission’s direct-support organization to establish and administer such offices. Where feasible, appropriate, and recommended by the 4-year marketing plan, the commission may collocate the programs of foreign tourism offices in cooperation with any foreign office operated by any agency of this state. (a) The commission, or its direct-support organization, may enter into agreements necessary to establish and operate an office in a foreign country containing provisions which may be in conflict with general laws of the state pertaining to the purchase of office space, employment of personnel, and contracts for services. When agreements pursuant to this section are made which set compensation in foreign currency, such agreements shall be subject to the requirements of s. 215.425, but the purchase of foreign currency by the commission, or its direct-support organization, to meet such obligations shall be subject only to s. 216.311. (b) The Florida Commission on Tourism, or its direct-support organization, in connection with the establishment, operation, and management of any of its tourism offices located in a foreign country, is exempt from the provisions of ss. 255.21, 255.25, and 255.254 relating to leasing of buildings; ss. 283.33 and 283.35 relating to bids for printing; ss. 287.001-287.20 relating to purchasing and motor vehicles; and ss. 282.003-282.0056 and 282.702-282.7101 relating to communications, and from all statutory provisions relating to state employment, if the laws, administrative code, or business practices or customs of the foreign country, or political or administrative subdivision thereof, in which such office is located are in conflict with these provisions.
(10) Shall receive staff support from the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation and shall not employ any additional staff. The president and chief executive officer of the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporation shall serve without compensation as the executive director of the commission. As executive director, he or she shall have the authority to conduct any official business of the commission, as authorized by the commission.
(11) Shall incorporate nature-based tourism and heritage tourism components into its comprehensive tourism marketing plan for the state, including, but not limited to:
(a) Promoting travel experiences that combine visits to commercial destinations in the state with visits to nature-based or heritage-based sites in the state;
(b) Promoting travel experiences that combine visits to multiple nature-based or heritage-based sites within a region or within two or more regions in the state;
(c) Assisting local and regional tourism organizations in incorporating nature-based tourism and heritage tourism components into local marketing plans and in establishing cooperative local or regional advisory committees on nature-based tourism and heritage tourism;
(d) Working with local and regional tourism organizations to identify nature-based tourism and heritage tourism sites, including identifying private sector businesses engaged in activities supporting or related to nature-based tourism and heritage tourism; and
(e) Providing guidance to local and regional economic development organizations on the identification, enhancement, and promotion of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism assets as a component of the overall job-creating efforts of such organizations.
The marketing plan shall include specific provisions for directing tourism promotion resources toward promotion and development of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism. The marketing plan shall also include provisions specifically addressing promotion and development of nature-based tourism and heritage tourism in rural communities in the state.
(12) Shall advise and cooperate with Space Florida regarding space tourism marketing, when appropriate and beneficial.