Palm Beach County CVB Completes Comprehensive Study on Economic Impact of Visitors on Local Economy

06/01/2012

Palm Beach County CVB Completes Comprehensive Study on Economic Impact of Visitors on Local Economy

-Nearly five million visitors generated $5 billion impact in 2011-THE PALM BEACHES, Fla. (June 7, 2012) - The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has announced the completion of the first comprehensive study in more than five years analyzing the demographics and behaviors of travelers visiting The Palm Beaches and Boca Raton, the positive impact of tourism on the county's economy, and the favorable effects on local jobs and tax revenues.

The results indicate 4.9 million individuals visited the county last year, with an average length of stay of 3.5 nights. This is significantly higher than the national average (1.7 nights) and the average for South Florida destinations (2.9 nights). The total economic impact of the nearly five million visitors is an impressive $5 billion and includes $3.3 billion in direct spending, as well as $819 million in indirect spending from businesses, vendors and services that provide goods and services to visitors. This also includes $921 million in induced spending by employees of the tourism industry who, in turn, spend on goods and services to support their households.

The study also shows visitors to The Palm Beaches tend to be wealthier (average annual household income of $93,600), and therefore spend more than the typical traveler (average national household income of $74,000). Each visitor is worth $1,132 to Palm Beach County's economy. The travel and tourism industry is responsible for the creation of 44,600 local jobs, including 3,700 jobs in business services such as accounting, architecture, information technology and consulting, as well as 1,800 jobs in education and healthcare.

In addition to the $249 million in tourism tax revenue to Palm Beach County, the destination's 4.9 million visitors contributed $25.5 million in bed taxes and $235 million in state taxes, totaling $836 million in tax revenues generated last year. Each visitor contributes $109 to state and local taxes, which saves each Palm Beach County household $890 in taxes annually.

"The results of this study underscore the importance of travel and tourism to Palm Beach County's economy," said Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau's President and CEO Jorge Pesquera. "The sheer volume of visitors we host each year, along with the 10 percent increase in visitation and seven percent increase in spending last year, bodes very well for our industry, economy and community."

Of the $5 billion in economic impact, the largest portion of visitor spending was in the food and beverage industry, with nearly $1.2 billion in total sales. Hotel and lodging demand was up five percent over 2010 and follows food and beverage with more than $800 million in total sales. Other industries within the county that benefit from the destination's tourism appeal include, attractions and cultural exhibits, recreation, retail trade, gas, finance, insurance and real estate.

"The results of our study for Palm Beach County portray a tourism industry that represents a significant source of business sales, employment, and taxes to the local economy. Nearly five million visitors generating $5 billion in economic activity and 45,000 jobs is a testament to the critical role travel and tourism continue to play in the county," said Chris Pike, senior economist at Tourism Economics, the tourism consulting company that conducted the analysis.

The CVB views the results of the study as a valuable tool in their efforts to work collaboratively with public and private sector leadership to expand the opportunities for the development of Palm Beach County's tourism product, as well as travel to the destination. The Bureau will utilize the results, based on the latest data available from 2010 and 2011, to produce competitive and robust strategies to target key visitor markets, maximize spending and generate continued economic growth in The Palm Beaches.

"This economic impact study clearly defines the mutually beneficial relationship between our destination's visitors and residents, and we intend to strengthen Palm Beach County's tourism industry in partnership with Tourist Development Council entities to increase spending within the destination and create even more jobs," said Jim Mostad, chairman of the CVB Board. "But, the study also gives us exciting new information about our visitors that we will incorporate into our efforts to expand our reach and attract more leisure and business travelers."

The Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization for Palm Beach County, Fla. Tourism is among Palm Beach County's major industries generating an annual economic impact of $5 billion in the local economy, producing $25 million dollars in bed-tax revenue and lodging sales of approximately $846 million.

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Media Contacts:

Carli Smith/Palm Beach CVB
csmith@PalmBeachFL.com / 561-233-3030
Maria Hayworth/Hayworth Public Relations
maria@hayworthPR.com / 386-677-7000

 

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