News Release: Emerald Coast
August 21, 2014
DESTIN/FT. WALTON BEACH, Fla. – Summer 2014 brought the highest lodging revenues in history for Destin and Okaloosa County.
Overall revenue for June 2014 (hotels and condos) was approximately $58,181,960, which does not include revenue from government travel or any tax-exempt travelers. Early reports for July 2014 indicate that it will surpass June’s overall revenue and continue the record-breaking summer.
This is on the heels of Florida Governor Rick Scott announcing that, according to Visit Florida’s preliminary estimates, 24 million visitors came to Florida in the second quarter of 2014 (April-June), an increase of 3 percent over the same period in 2013. This represents the largest second quarter for visitation Florida has ever experienced, exceeding the previous high of 23.3 million visitors in Q2 2013. Visitor spending is up 7.4 percent for January through May 2014, at $35.7 billion, which is more than the same time period in 2013.
Governor Scott said, “A thriving tourism industry is vital to growing jobs, and to report that Florida has experienced another record quarter for visitation is great news for Florida families. This year we invested $74 million into Visit Florida and set a goal to have 100 million visitors visit the Sunshine State, which we are well on our way to reaching. Together we are creating an opportunity economy and continuing to grow more jobs for Floridians with more than 1.1 million individuals employed in the growing tourism industry.”
“Florida tourism is maintaining strong momentum with all indicators up across the board for the quarter,” said Will Seccombe, president and CEO of Visit Florida. “With occupancy, rooms sold, average daily room rate and tourism and recreation taxable sales all continuing to climb, we are well on our way to making Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”
Emerald Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, Ed Schroeder stated “We are thrilled to be part of a record-breaking year for Florida Tourism. It is so encouraging to see the boost that tourism gives to our local economy.”