PALM BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (From PB Tourism Dept.) — Tourism in both The Palm Beaches and Florida is at an all-time high, and the celebration of Florida Tourism Day on March 11, 2015 highlights this record growth. Florida Tourism Day is held in Tallahassee and is designed to educate the legislature, media and Floridians on the significant role tourism plays in the success of our state’s economy.
The event is expected to draw more than 400 industry attendees from over 40 Florida counties, who will meet with legislators and government leaders. Ten statewide organizations are scheduled to participate in the event and will host a downtown nighttime celebration that is open to the public. The street party will be held on Adams Street between College and Jefferson Streets where musical group The Free Wheelin’ Band will perform live beginning at 5:00 p.m
Discover The Palm Beaches recently released the January 2015 tourism results, revealing a historic record of 5 years of uninterrupted tourism growth. This makes The Palm Beaches the only destination in South Florida with the longest consecutive period of positive tourism performance as determined by the key measure of Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). January’s RevPAR was $165, up 10.1% over January 2014.
“This major achievement is the result of several major initiatives including a careful application of brand principles, a shift toward digital channels, a sharpened sales pitch, improved industry relations, strategic investment of stimulus funds approved by the Board of County Commissioners, and the economic recovery,” said Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches. “It’s certainly appropriate that we join in the celebration of Florida Tourism Day. We are confident that our ‘good news’ industry will continue to see increases across the board in the coming years.”
The ongoing rise in Palm Beach County tourism is also exemplified by the growth in bed tax collections for January – December 2014 over the same time span in 2013. Bed tax collections in 2014 saw a 12% growth over 2013 at more than $35 million, an increase of approximately $3.8 million.
According to preliminary estimates, more than 6.24 million visitors came to The Palm Beaches as part of the 97.3 million Florida visitors in 2014. This is the fourth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous high of 93.7 million in 2013. The number of direct travel-related jobs in 2014 was also a record high, with more than 1.3 million Floridians employed in the tourism industry, up 3.6 percent from 2013.
“2014 marked the fourth consecutive record year for Florida tourism,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “Given that we have the best tourism product on the planet, visionary public sector leadership from Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, more than 1.1 million Floridians who provide exceptional service to our visitors every day, and highly impactful marketing programs from VISIT FLORIDA and our destination marketing partners across the state, Florida is well-positioned to become the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”