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Collier Tourism Up 5.2% for Q1 2010
May 13, 2010
The annual State of the Industry Report announced that first quarter tourism visitation and spending are up over the same period in 2009, a very positive sign for Collier County’s number one industry employing 31,000 people.
JoNell Modys, Cell: 239-580-8481,email@example.com
Jack Wert, 239-252-2402, firstname.lastname@example.org
Collier Tourism Up 5.2% for Q1 2010
State of the Industry Report Precedes Annual Paradise Coast Tourism Star Awards
Naples, Fla. (May 13, 2010)
– The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau today released its annual State of the Industry Report during National Tourism Week. Tourism executive director Jack Wert announced that first quarter tourism visitation and spending are up over the same period in 2009, a very positive sign for Collier County’s number one industry employing 31,000 people. The report presentation was immediately followed by the annual Paradise Coast Tourism Star Awards, honoring the top tourism employees in Collier County.
—This year’s event theme is Team Paradise: Together We Win,” said Jack Wert, executive director for the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). —This past year was a tough one for travel and tourism everywhere, and with this event we celebrate our successes and we are able to recognize those top performing employees that make our destination such a memorable and welcoming place for people to come and find some much needed relaxation and rejuvenation.”
Wert took the opportunity to address the ongoing emergency situation created by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the northern Gulf of Mexico. He announced that the tourism bureau has already begun proactive educational efforts to assist in overcoming negative perceptions among the traveling public about the impacts of the oil spill. The bureau has added a Travelers Update button on the home page of its Web site, www.paradisecoast.com, leading to the latest information regarding beach conditions in Naples, Marco Island and the Gulf Coast Everglades, along with information on the oil spill. Additionally, the bureau will soon begin running online banner ads and possibly other advertising with messaging that indicates that our beaches are clean and clear and it is a good time to visit.
Wert reviewed the bureau’s proactive marketing efforts in view of the economic downturn in 2009 as well as an aggressive winter 2010 campaign.
Number for 2009 indicate that 1,338,800 visitors stayed in paid accommodations, and they created a total economic impact of $1.1 billion. Those visitors paid $73.3 million in sales and gasoline taxes. Analysis by Research Data Services shows that each dollar spent on destination advertising results in $17.68 of visitor spending. Collier County residents saved $609 in taxes they otherwise would have paid if amenities such as beach renourishment and the Collier County Museums were not paid for with the Tourist Development Tax, collected from visitors staying in hotels and short term vacation accommodations.
Data for the first quarter of 2010 shows that visitors responded favorably to new peak season marketing efforts initiated in January. Visitation was up by 5.2% of first quarter 2009, with the Northeast and Midwest feeder markets up by 9% and 6% respectively. Leisure occupancy was up 6% and group occupancy was up 32%. Web site inquires increased 39% and visitor guide requests were up 72.3%.
Wert revealed plans for a Summer Paradise marketing campaign directed primarily at Florida residents, and plans for a first-ever —backyard” campaign to encourage ‘staycations’ with overnight stays for Southwest Florida residents seeking quick activity-centered getaways in Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades.
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official tourism marketing agency for Collier County, Florida, funded entirely by the Collier County tourist development tax. Tourist development taxes pay for beach renourishment and coastal programs, museums, special grants and local tourism industry marketing and promotion. The CVB provides information, assistance and free visitors guides for consumers, travel agents, tour operators, the travel press and meeting planners online at www.ParadiseCoast.com or by calling 1-800-688-3600. The CVB’s local phone number is 239-252-2384.