Strong growth boosts county coffers, local pocketbooks
TAMPA (Dec. 16, 2014) – Falling gas prices and a rising economic tide combined in the third quarter of 2014 to lift Tampa Bay’s tourism industry far above the same period in 2013, according to new research by Tallahassee-based market researcher Mark Bonn.
Bonn reported his quarterly findings this month to Visit Tampa Bay, the destination marketing organization for Tampa and Hillsborough County. The report is based on visitor survey data collected in July, August and September – the third quarter of the 2014 calendar year.
Bonn’s research found the total number of visitors to Hillsborough County during that period grew nearly 80 percent over the same period in 2013. Overnight hotel/motel stays rose 84.3 percent. Overnight stays in condos grew 139.5 percent; campground stays grew 99.6 percent.
All forms of short-term accommodations pay the county’s 5 percent bed tax, which was by $800,000, or 16 percent, between the third quarter of 2014 and the same period in 2013.
“These results are outstanding,” said Santiago Corrada, president & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “They are showing the results of the hard work we have all been doing across the industry to promote Tampa Bay as a premier destination for meetings and vacations. People from all over the country and the world truly are unlocking Tampa Bay. They’re also a reminder of how important tourism is to our local economy.”
Bonn’s research showed that direct spending by visitors of all kinds – from overnight visitors to day-trippers – rose nearly $760 million between the third quarter of 2014 and the same period in 2013. Overnight hotel guests’ spending rose nearly 71 percent, while day-trippers’ spending rose nearly 50 percent.
That increase in visitor spending had a ripple effect in the local economy. Every dollar in direct spending produced $1.81 in economic impact across the county. It also produced nearly $545 million in wages, which then had their own ripple effect of $1.99 for every dollar in wages.
Bonn’s finding coincided with above-average hotel occupancy across the county during the quarter.
For more information, please contact Mark A. Bonn, Ph.D. at Bonn Marketing Research Group, Inc., (850) 567-1826.
ABOUT VISIT TAMPA BAY
Visit Tampa Bay leads the effort of economic development through tourism. The mission of Visit Tampa Bay is to create vibrant economic growth for the Tampa Bay area by selling and promoting the Tampa Bay destination. The independent not-for-profit organization represents more than 700 businesses throughout the area and works to ignite interest for Visiting Tampa Bay.