This week is National Travel and Tourism Week and Palm Beach County celebrated some outstanding benchmarks reached by our county. The Palm Beach tourism leaders held a get-together for nearly 400 people at the Travel Rally Day luncheon to acknowledge a local tourism standout; the 30th anniversary of the county’s marketing agency and the incredible impact Florida’s tourism has had on our economy.
Florida is the second most visited state in our nation, barely beaten by California. With over 6 million visitors each year, its no wonder Florida's tourists are so important to the overall well being of the state's economy.
The Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO and president, Jorge Pesquera, shared some outstanding numbers with local residents and business owners at the luncheon. He noted, “Visitor spending grew from $550 million to $5 billion, the number of visitors increased from 1.1 million to well over 5 million and bed taxes rose from $6.2 million to nearly $29 million." These numbers are according to comparisons from a 1988 economic study and one the agency did last year (2012). Even with these fantastic results, Pesquera insists that there is still more work to do! His goal is to have Florida on everyone’s “bucket list.”
The International Polo Club won the most revered award given out at the luncheon, the Providencia award. They were awarded with this honor for the gigantic economic impact their business had on Palm Beach County’s economy. The Polo club alone contributed $20 million to the county’s economy annually.
It is not only the big players like the International Polo Club that make the recognition list but all of the local businesses in the state. Even the Visit Florida global brand vice president, Sarah Costello, has spoken out to all of the sunshine state businesses. Visit Florida is a platform that allows private hotels; businesses and tourist attractions build up their websites and marketing. Tourism is responsible for 23% of Florida’s economy. Costello stated about our job, as Floridian business owners is to “make Florida the epic vacation.”
For those of us who have had the luxury to live in Florida, whether it be Jupiter, North Palm Beach or Singer Island, we know how beautiful it really is. We know that Florida is an epic vacation destination, lets help spread the word!