ACTION IS NEEDED !

ACTION IS NEEDED !

I am copying a Message from Florida VRMA. It is very important to star lobby and complaining to the Local Authorities. The Vacation Rental Business is in danger if we get kick out of the Hospitality Business.


ACTION ALERT & UPDATES
 
Dear Florida VRMA Members,
 
Yesterday Governor DeSantis announced his plans to RE-OPEN Florida’s economy.  Unfortunately he has extended his suspension of vacation rentals indefinitely. Once again our competitors remain in operation and we are suspended. 
 
His first executive order yesterday 20-111 extended the suspension related to the existing order 20-87 and then it was followed by a second order 20-112 which now extends the vacation rental suspension indefinitely until the end of phase 1 of the reopening. This doesn’t even have a date and time attached to determine when phase 1 ends, which is super problematic to our industry. It provides no way to plan or prepare for the future. 
 
We are working on clarification on all these orders today and will distribute when more information comes in. We are assuming that 30+ day stays and essential stays for emergency workers are still permissible. 
 
Our first question is why are we singled out again? No data or real reasoning exists why we are the only lodging sector suspended. The Governor talked yesterday about layers of data to backup reopening decisions, but its not related to vacation rentals. We hear rumors of law enforcement wanting our industry to be shut down for an extended period of time and additional concerns about droves of travelers heading to Florida from US hot spots, but so far the Governor and his administration has failed to prove that this is true, especially for vacation rentals. 
 
With all that being said, many people want to know what we at the Florida VRMA are doing during this crisis. Myself and my very small, PT staff are busier than ever trying to get you the intelligence you need to be informed and make decisions. We are still running the largest statewide vacation rental association in the US, now with over 1,000 members. The associations normal business activities don’t stop because of Covid 19. So here are a few brief things we are working on related to Covid 19 to keep you apprised of our efforts on your behalf:
  • We are constantly connected to our lobby team which is camped out in Tallahassee working every angle of this situation. Our lobby team is connecting with other lobby teams from OTA’s and other industry partners. We have hired one of the best lobby firms in the state, working on our behalf day by day and hour by hour throughout this situation. 
  • We are connected into DBPR and all state agencies related to Covid 19 situations.
  • Twice each week we are on group tourism calls with state agencies in Tallahassee to receive updates on all programs and activities related to tourism. 
  • We engaged with the US Travel Association on relief efforts and Federal relief programs. 
  • We worked directly with DBPR all the way up to the Secretary of DBPR, to clarify guidance and halt over reaching inspectors who were trying to shut down rentals and cancel bookings all across FL. 
  • We have written letters, submitted news articles, appeared on radio shows and engaged other media outlets to tell our story and push for our industry to reopen. 
  • Our association and our Board of Directors have directly called and engaged the Governors task force about the reopening. 
  • We are tracking every county and city emergency order being released and working on a number of regulatory items that local governments are still trying to impose on vacation rentals. Thats right, even without public meetings, local governments are still trying to over regulate our industry during times of crisis. 
  • We are constantly engaged with several legal advisors and soliciting guidance on Covid 19 issues and other industry circumstances including constitutional issues. (all advice given about litigation has shown that its not a prudent solution at this time). 
These are just a handful of things that we do, day in and day out on behalf of YOU and Your Business related to Covid 19.  In this time of crisis, its very easy to point fingers and assign blame. We are all in this together. That means we all share the burden of reaching out, engaging and trying to turn this situation around Together. Just like your resources are likely depleted, so are all of our association resources, but we continue to do the best with what we have. We are constantly working on strategy, process and procedures to turn this around so please exercise patience, understanding and respect for all of our partners and industry peers. We all have an opinion and a different way of doing things and that’s ok. That’s what makes us diverse and stronger overall in a crisis. Now next steps: 

The recent Executive Orders and action items: 20-111 and 20-112

Right now our best defense is an aggressive offense. We must all engage our elected officials. Owners, managers and industry vendors must all reach out and be heard. Everyone that’s impacted by this shut down should call, email, or write the Governor over and over again. Be respectful, but direct. Talk to the press and tell your story, tell the press to call us if you have a contact. This type of public pressure makes politicians work to change the perception. Lets engage together and show our strength. 

Use talking points like:
  • Our industry generates $31 billion each year to the FL economy.
  • Our industry employs 300,000 or more direct employees and thousands of independent small business contractors.
  • We generate more tourism taxes in some counties than hotels do.
  • Hotels and motels are more at risk of spreading the virus than vacation rentals due to more shared spaces and close quarters. Vacation rentals are safer lodging options.
  • Your enhanced cleaning procedures and processes. 
  • Tell them how his emergency orders don’t allow for business planning in the near future and any insight on regaining normal operations. 
  • Tell your story, why you are in the industry, what impact has this had on your family and your employment. 
    • Did you let employees go or furlough employees?
    • Have you been denied emergency relief? 
    • How else were you impacted negatively?
    • How are homeowners impacted by lack of revenues?
Speak loud and clear and tell Governor DeSantis that we will not be ignored and want to be heard as a $31 billion dollar Florida hospitality industry. 
 
Email or call the Governor and his executive staff at:
 
Governor Desantis GovernorRon.Desantis@eog.myflorida.com
Phone The Governors Office: (850) 717-9337
 
Governors Executive Staff: Diane Moulton at Diane.Moulton@eog.myflorida.com 
 
 
We will continue to bring you additional webinars and programs to help during this crisis. If at any time you have questions please feel free to email us at denis@fvrma.org
 
 

José Vázquez
PASSIONATE ABOUT TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, HELPING PROFESSIONALS TO EXPAND AND GROW.
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