Leave Syria, visit Florida? Tourism agency makes error

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s tourism marketing agency was forced to sign a new contract after a newspaper pointed out Visit Florida hired a firm to advertise to potential Syrian tourists.

Visit Florida officials said Friday a “clerical error” caused them to include Syria on a list of countries the agency planned to advertise in.

Visit Florida CEO Ken Lawson signed a $14,000 contract with a German advertising firm back in March that included Syria and nine other Middle Eastern countries.

President Donald Trump included Syria on a list of countries covered by a temporary travel ban. A spokesman for Visit Florida blamed the mistake on someone cutting and pasting a list of Middle Eastern countries into the contract.

After The Naples Daily News asked questions, Visit Florida signed a new contract Wednesday that listed only Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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