Article Details

VISIT FLORIDA Releases Economic Impact of Out-of-State Visitor Spending in Florida Study

January 25, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, today released a new Economic Impact of Out-of-State Visitor Spending in Florida study, which shows a rise in spending, revenue and jobs in the Sunshine State. The study was conducted by Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics Company, over a six-month period in 2016.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Out-of-state visitor spending in Florida reached $108.8 billion in 2015, an increase of 3.9 percent over the previous year
  • On average, out-of-state visitors spend $300 million per day in Florida
  • Including indirect and induced impacts, out-of-state tourism in Florida generated $11.3 billion in state and local taxes and $13.1 billion in federal taxes in 2015
  • In the absence of the state and local taxes generated by tourism, each Florida household would need to pay $1,535 to maintain the current level of government services
  • Out-of-state visitor spending supported 1.4 million Florida jobs in 2015, with an associated income of $50.7 billion
  • These jobs represented 17.3 percent of total non-farm employment, making 1-in-6 non-farm jobs in Florida supported by out-of-state visitor spending
  • This out-of-state visitor-supported employment consistently grew faster than the state economy from 2010 to 2015, driving Florida’s employment growth
  • All business sectors of the Florida economy benefit from tourism activity either directly or through the secondary effects of indirect (increased sales to local firms who supply the tourism industry) and induced (increased sales to local firms by resident spending of income earned in tourism and supporting sectors) visitor spending

“This study offers a much more comprehensive and accurate picture of the true economic impact of Florida’s out-of-state visitor spending and what it tells us is that the tourism industry is driving the growth of the Florida economy,” said VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Ken Lawson. “In 2015, our visitors spent $30 billion more in Florida than they did just five years ago. That spending also generated $2.4 billion more in state and local tax revenue and the creation of nearly 148,000 jobs. Without the tax dollars our visitors bring in, Floridians would have to pay over $1,500 just to keep our government services going. We can see that visitors are vital to Florida’s economy and the work VISIT FLORIDA and our Partners around the state do to keep those visitors coming is equally vital.”

What Other Industry Leaders Had to Say About the Report Findings:

“The remarkable growth of Florida’s tourism industry since 2010 is not a fluke, said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and VISIT FLORIDA board member. “It’s the direct result of visionary leadership from Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, active and engaged participation by the private sector, and innovative marketing by VISIT FLORIDA in concert with destination marketing organizations, hotels, restaurants and attractions across the state. This study proves collective investment and collaboration amongst public and private sectors effectively promotes economic prosperity for all Floridians.”

“According to the study, tourism employment in Florida is growing at a faster rate than the total employment growth for the state, and has been consistently doing so for the last six years. I have seen this growth in my own small business as we expand into the Tampa International Airport,” said Maryann Ferenc, President & CEO of Mise en Place Hospitality Group in Tampa Bay and Vice Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. “The numbers in the study also show that every 76 visitors support one tourism job, down from the previous estimate of 85. It takes fewer visitors because, with VISIT FLORIDA’s more targeted marketing efforts, those who come spend more.”

“This study shows our out-of-state visitors spend an average of $300 million a day in Florida, increasing revenue and creating jobs not only in traditional tourism businesses, but also in restaurants like mine who serve those visitors,” said Carlos Gazitua, President & CEO of Sergio’s Restaurants in Miami and VISIT FLORIDA board member. “As a VISIT FLORIDA Partner, I’m able to market my business directly to those visitors as they’re planning their trip. That’s access to potential revenue I can’t get any other way.”

“Tourism is a hyper-competitive global industry,” said Gene Prescott, President of the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and Treasurer of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. “Florida has to compete with other domestic and international destinations for every visitor. VISIT FLORIDA marketing is a critical component of the integrated marketing efforts of the Florida tourism industry who work together to showcase not only the tourism staples of the Sunshine State, but also the diverse local, cultural and historical assets the state has to offer who would not otherwise be able to reach global markets.”

To view the Economic Impact of Out-of-State Visitor Spending in Florida study in full, please click here.