TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The leader of Florida's public-private tourism agency is leaving to head a similar national organization known as Brand USA.
Chris Thompson was appointed president and CEO by Brand USA's board of directors on Thursday.
Thompson has been with VISIT FLORIDA since 1997 and became the state organization's president and CEO in 2009.
Brand USA was created by federal law in 2010 to launch the nation's first global tourism marketing effort.
The public-private corporation is funded through private-sector investments and matching federal funds. They are generated by fees paid by international visitors who come to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
Gov. Rick Scott praised Thompson's leadership skills for helping Florida attract a record 87.3 million visitors last year.
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