Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the official tourism marketing corporation for Palm Beach County, has announced a year-over-year increase in visitor spending of nearly 1% to $4.6 billion for 2016, over $4.5 billion in 2015. The news of the continued increase comes on the heels of The Palm Beaches’ record-breaking 2016 tourism numbers reaching 7.35 million visitors, which capped eight years in a row of visitation growth. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, supporting more than 66,000 jobs with an economic impact of approximately $7 billion.
“For approximately 100 visitors to The Palm Beaches, one new job is supported,” explained Rich Basen, senior vice president of marketing and leisure sales for DTPB. “Having more visitors means the destination has an increased overall economic benefit. It’s exciting to see increased visitation and visitor spending as result of our strategic tourism marketing efforts.”
Although spending from Canadians was down 12% due to currency challenges, there was a strong increase from domestic (+2%) and Florida (+5%) markets. The sectors that experienced the highest increases are Food & Beverage (+1%), Lodging (+3%) and Recreation (+6%).
DTPB is forecasting even more occupancy growth to the destination. Data collected through March 11, 2017 shows three weeks in a row of occupancy growth, and STR reported February occupancy was up 2.1% to 87.5%, which was the highest occupancy in the state. The month of March 2017 is currently on pace to reach record performance, which was set in 2005 at 89% occupancy.
“As the tourism marketing landscape continues to change, we’ve worked to evolve and claim an even greater market share,” Basen said. “The increase in the number of visitors here proves our strategies are paying off, which, in turn, continues to spur more economic growth for Palm Beach County.”
DTPB encourages its visitors and residents to participate in its new “Friends Trust Friends” marketing campaign by sharing photos and videos of their favorite moments in The Palm Beaches on social media with the hashtag #ThePalmBeaches. To guide further discovery, the organization launched an interactive Selfie Trail on its website, which pin-points a starter list of popular attractions and hidden gems of where to capture the most buzz-worthy selfies. Throughout the campaign, inspiring content will be re-shared on DTPB’s social channels, featured on ThePalmBeaches.com, and repurposed with permissions for the organization’s advertising initiatives.
Visitor Spending Grows in The Palm Beaches. For approximately 100 visitors, one new job is supported. More occupancy growth to the destination is forecast.