In keeping with the Christmas season coming on, Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association president Rich Maladecki has a wish list for this coming legislative Session, and it’s mostly focused on preserving Central Florida’s status as the top tourist destination in the world.

And family-oriented, he added.

That’s in reference to Maladecki’s vigilant hope to monitor and oppose any new gambling expansion laws that would hit the area.

“Central Florida is a family destination,” he said. “If a visitor wants gambling as a part of their leisure, there are gambling operations all around the state, some close to Central Florida. I don’t want to jeopardize our reputation as a family-friendly area.”

His other wish list items include more VISIT FLORIDA funding, which would boost up the tourism numbers even higher than they already are. But to be fair, Maladecki said that was already happening, what with Gov. Rick Scott‘s recent revelation that there have been 83 million people visiting Florida this year already, which is close to the 106 million total from last year.

Maladecki said preserving the integrity of Tourist Development Tax funding is also important to him — he said that will fulfill the same objectives as his other hopes for the Legislature, and boost tourism.

“The Tourist Development Tax has been in place since 1978,” he said. “It’s important for local promotion of destinations, to maintain the integrity and the purpose of that.”

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