Did You Know: In 2014 More Than 97 Million Visitors Came to Florida

By: Melissa Roberts

Florida has seen four years in a row of record tourism as millions of visitors come to enjoy our beaches, attractions and Florida’s hospitality.

Did you know:

  • Last year an estimated 97.3 million visitors from throughout the U.S. and other countries came to Florida.
  • These record breaking numbers include 11.5 million visitors from overseas and 3.8 million Canadian visitors, representing more than 10 percent of the estimated 35.5 million Canadian residents.

Increased investments in tourism marketing have led to substantial increases in overseas visitors, who stay longer and spend more in Florida than domestic visitors. Many international visitors also shop while they are in our state, spending substantial amounts on taxable goods. A recent study by the Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) office of the Florida legislature estimated that tourists paid 12.5 percent of General Revenue from Sales Taxes in the most recent fiscal year.

Chart_SalesTax

Chart Source: Return on Investment for VISIT FLORIDA. Office of Economic and Demographic Research. January 1, 2015.

The economic impact of tourists can’t be denied. Every 85 visitors to Florida creates one Florida hospitality job. Additional indirect and induced jobs are also created. For every 1,000 jobs created, only 507 of those are in traditional tourism sectors-the other 493 jobs are created in categories such as retail trade, administrative services, construction, transportation and warehousing. The estimated average salary of those jobs is $43,750.

“Florida’s investments in marketing are matched at nearly two-to-one with private-sector funds,” said Will Seccombe, CEO of VISITFLORIDA. “This successful combination creates jobs in many sectors of the Florida economy and provides substantial increases in tax revenues for our state”.

The estimated return on investment for VISITFLORIDA’s marketing was estimated by EDR to be 3.2 dollars for every state dollar invested. This means that for every public dollar spent on tourism marketing, $3.20 was returned to the state in the form of tax collection. 

Share Your Story:

Tourism not only creates jobs, but it also keeps taxes Floridians low because visitors pay sales taxes, bed taxes and taxes on their activities while they are in Florida. How has your community benefitted from Florida tourism? Share your story by contacting the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Chief Economist Jerry Parrish at jparrish@flfoundation.org.

About the Florida Scorecard:

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each month, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Stat that takes an in-depth look at one aspect of Florida’s economy. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Stat or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Dr. Jerry Parrish with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283.