USFSM's Selby Auditorium will host a candidate forum on Oct. 20.

USFSM to host local experts for ‘Brexit’ panel discussion

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: August 25, 2016

SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 25, 2016) Britain’s economy seems to have weathered initial tremors after the Brexit vote, but the nation’s decision to leave the European Union has fueled uncertainty around the UK’s economic outlook and relationship with the EU.

What this all means to Florida, a longtime tourism magnet for British visitors, will be the topic of a panel discussion at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee set Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 5:30 p.m.

Panelists include Brian J. Mariash, a senior financial advisor at Mariash Lowther Wealth Management in Sarasota, and Jo Ann M. Koontz, a local attorney and certified public accountant.

They will be joined by Elliott Falcione of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and Kelly Defebo of Visit Sarasota County.

Dr. Cihan Cobanoglu, a tourism expert and director of USFSM’s M3 Center for Hospitality Technology and Innovation, will moderate the discussion to be held at the campus’ Selby Auditorium, 8350 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

The panel is expected to touch on current and future impacts of the Brexit on tourism, real estate, investments and related issues.

“Florida is uniquely positioned to feel Brexit’s impact as tourism is the main industry in Florida. About 10 million British citizens visit Florida each year, and many of them purchase homes and invest here,” Dr. Cobanoglu said.

Currency exchanges have been especially hard hit since the pullout, making travel to the U.S. more expensive. Against the dollar, the pound is now worth about $1.30. A year ago, it was $1.57 – a 17 percent decline.

All of this impacts not only tourism but also investment with the potential of many in the UK holding off investment in Florida businesses and real estate.

“The panel will discuss these and other issues in more detail and offer some suggestions to minimize the negative impacts of Brexit,” Dr. Cobanoglu said.

Mariash Lowther Wealth Management is sponsoring the discussion, which will include refreshments and light fare.

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