Discover The Palm Beaches Reports Record-Breaking Visitation for 2015

02/10/2016

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Discover The Palm Beaches Reports Record-Breaking Visitation for 2015

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (February 10, 2016) - Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, has released the year-end hotel performance dashboard for 2015. The data shows a record-breaking 6.9 million visitors came to The Palm Beaches from January to December, which was a 10% visitation increase over 2014.

"The Palm Beaches had 6.9 million visitors in 2015. That was a 10% increase over the previous year, which dramatically surpassed all of our previous forecasts," said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for DTPB. "This makes five years in a row of record-breaking tourism to the destination."

"We saw a significant increase from our key target markets, particularly those where we made tactical investments and customized our message to resonate with that specific target audience," Pesquera continued.

For 2015 compared to 2014, The Palm Beaches had an increase of 11.7% in domestic visitors, while international markets decreased by 0.4%, which has been the case throughout the state of Florida and across the United States. Direct visitor spending decreased slightly from $4.84 billion to $4.83 billion, but room nights sold increased from 4.19 million to 4.3 million.

Pesquera said he is cautiously optimistic for the tourism forecast of 2016. "The increased visitation is wonderful news for the community," he said. "For every 100 visitors, one new job is created. Since The Palm Beaches had 600,000 more visitors in 2015, that means 6,000 new jobs are created in Palm Beach County."

Pesquera predicted strong numbers in the meetings and conventions sector, with the opening of the new Hilton West Palm Beach as South Florida's only hotel physically connected to a convention center. In addition, more than 1,000 new hotel rooms are expected to open in 2016.
"The ability of the tourism industry to generate over $500 million in taxes benefits our entire community," said Glenn Jergensen, Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council. "As the demand to visit The Palm Beaches continues to expand, so will the number of new hotel, retail and entertainment projects throughout the destination."

Pesquera pointed to the destination's catch-phrase as a message that residents could learn and share.
"We like to say that ‘The Palm Beaches are the best way to experience Florida'," he said. "The top reason why visitors come here is for our 47 miles of pristine beaches, while the second most important draw is to visit friends and family."
"Our future success will largely depend on empowering local residents to become brand ambassadors," Pesquera said. "We invite all residents to use the power of a personal invitation to support our tourism strategy this year."

About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 38 cities and towns and 15 tourism districts, commonly referred to as The Palm Beaches, Florida. Tourism is among Palm Beach County's major industries. It generates an annual economic impact of $7.3 billion in the local economy, produces $42 million in bed-tax revenue and lodging sales of approximately $623 million and supports more than 63,000 jobs.
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