2013 Governor's Innovators in Business Awards Adds New Tourism Category

Recognizing the importance of tourism to Florida’s economy, Governor Rick Scott today announced the addition of the Innovators in Tourism award to the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Awards (GIBA). Florida welcomed a record 91.5 million visitors in 2012 who spent more than $71.8 billion, generating 23 percent of the state's sales tax revenue and employing more than one million Floridians. Florida companies in select industries that have influenced the state’s economic growth and diversification are asked to submit nominations to Enterprise Florida by November 15, 2013.

Governor Scott said, “Florida’s tourism industry is responsible for one million Florida jobs and we want to make sure that this important part of our economy is rewarded. Thanks to our job creators, Florida is becoming the top state for business in the country.. I look forward to recognizing these innovative businesses for making sure families can live their American Dream.

VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Will Seccombe said, “On behalf of the nearly 1.1 million Floridians employed in the hospitality industry, I’m grateful to Governor Scott for creating this new award that will recognize the significant economic impact tourism businesses bring to the state.

Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida Gray Swoope said, “It’s necessary that we award companies in the tourism and hospitality industry because they have had a major impact on Florida’s economic turnaround. We are excited to award one of the many successful tourism and hospitality businesses for their dedication and contributions to Florida’s economy.

The industries recognized this year include:

  • Aviation/Aerospace               
  • Corporate Headquarters 
  • Distribution/Logistics                       
  • Education/Training
  • Emerging Industries
  • Financial/Professional Services 
  • Homeland Security/Defense 
  • Information Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Manufacturing                         
  • Marine
  • Tourism/Hospitality
  • Trade/Export Services

Four awards will be given in each of these categories:

  • Governor’s Business Expansion Award: For Florida companies that expanded their operations in 2012, investing capital and creating jobs for Floridians.
  • Governor’s Newcomer Award: For new-to-Florida companies that began business operations in 2012.
  • Governor’s Export Excellence Award: For Florida companies with new or significant increases in documented export sales in 2012.
  • Governor’s Innovation/Entrepreneurship Award: For Florida start-up companies or innovative companies that have set a standard for entrepreneurship and creativity in the past three years.
  • Governor’s Innovations/Expansion in Tourism/Hospitality Award: For Florida companies that best exemplify innovation developed through product or process in the last three years.

Companies will compete with others in similarly sized markets. In each category an award will be given for the following market segments:

  • Mid Market: County population up to 150,000
  • Major Market: County population 150,001 to 800,000
  • Mega Market: County population 800,001 and higher

The entry deadline is November 15, 2013 at 5 p.m. For more information and to submit a nomination, please visit www.eflorida.com/govawards.



Enterprise Florida, Inc. is a partnership between Florida's business and government leaders and is the principal economic development organization for the state of Florida. Enterprise Florida’s mission is to facilitate job growth for Florida’s businesses and citizens leading to a vibrant statewide economy. In pursuit of its mission, Enterprise Florida works closely with a statewide network of economic development partners and is funded both by the State of Florida and by private-sector businesses.


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