Collier Tourism Reports Record-Setting 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:
Jack Wert, jackwert@colliergov.net
JoNell Modys, jonellmodys@colliergov.net
Erin Smith, erinsmith@colliergov.net

Collier Tourism Reports Record-Setting 2015
Full annual report marks the start of national Travel & Tourism Week

Naples, Fla. (May 3, 2016) – Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades – saw

another record-setting year for tourism 2015, with not only a healthy increase in visitors, but significant increases in spending and economic impact. Visitors are defined as those staying in hotels, short-term vacation rentals and campgrounds, and do not include seasonal residents that own their own properties.

Visitation in 2015 jumped 3.1% over the 2014 total to 1,829,500. Direct spending by visitors of $1.3 billion jumped 8% over 2014 and the total economic impact to Collier County also rose 8% $1.95 billion. Direct tourism-related jobs averaged out to 25,142 for the year in 2015. The economic support and spending that short-term visitors bring to Collier County resulted in tax savings to homeowners of $863 in 2015

“Our strong tourism visitation brought 63 straight months of job growth to Collier County,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB).

Wert made the announcement at a tourism industry and press briefing at Naples Bay Resort as part of the tourism office’s annual salute to National Travel & Tourism Week.

Wert cites the tourism bureau’s increasingly consistent and effective destination marketing, and the area’s highly-recognized and acclaimed attributes for the continued positive outcomes.

In 2015 the destination received numerous awards and accolades such as inclusion in the 2015 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Top American Cities for Food, Marco Island’s listing in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards Ten Best Island – United States, and recognition by USA Today’s 10Best editor’s and readers as the Best Luxury Destination in the U.S., along with many more.

Florida’s Paradise Coast was chosen as the host destination for major sporting events, including the recently completed first-ever U.S. Open Pickleball Championship, the annul FBU Football University National Championships for middle school-aged athletes – which recently announced a two-year extension of its agreement, the Pro Watercross Tournament and more.

“We are always looking at ways to continue to highlight Florida’s Paradise Coast – Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades – as a world-class destination for recreation, sports, leisure travelers, meeting groups, and medical tourism,” Wert said.

Wert invited every one that works in travel and tourism-related jobs as well as the public to the annual tri-county Southwest Florida Travel Rally on Wednesday, May 4 at Lake Regional Park in south Fort Myers.

About National Travel & Tourism Week
National Travel and Tourism Week is May 1-7, 2016. It’s an annual tradition that was established by a congressional resolution in 1983 and first celebrated the following year. This nationwide week of events serves to champion the power of our industry. A wide cross section of travel and tourism professionals work throughout the week to promote the impactful contributions their travel markets and organizations make to the U.S. economy. The travel community typically marks the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local governments. Support National Travel & Tourism week by posting positive messages about what tourism brings to the community using the hashtag #nttw16.

About Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism marketing and management agency for Collier County, Florida, known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. The CVB produces the area’s ongoing destination marketing campaigns, website and visitor guides and provides information and assistance for travel media, group meeting and event planners, sports event planners, tour operators and travel agents. All programs are paid for with revenue from the Collier County tourism development tax paid by short-term visitors. A return on investment of $181 is realized for each dollar of visitor spending invested in tourism destination marketing. The tourist development tax also pays for beach renourishment and maintenance, beach park facilities, county museum operations, non-county museum marketing assistance, special promotional grants for events and more. For more information visit www.paradisecoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast

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