By: Matt Galka
June 14, 2013
Leon County, FL - Leon County's Tourist Development Council met today to talk budget dollars for 2014, but some recent positive airport numbers could be helping decide where some of that money goes...
Numbers in May from Tallahassee's airport indicate a significant jump in travelers compared to last year. That's good news for the Tourism Development Council and their budget plans.
Nobody is confusing Tallahassee Regional for a major airport. But traveler Jeff Jones has noticed a few more people on the flights lately.
Jeff Jones: "Maybe the last year, I've seen the capacity has been up. Pretty full, recently."
May 2013 saw an 8% increase in travelers compared to 2012. It was a three year high for the airport.
Sunil Harman: "We're seeing a larger number of people per flight, so the load factor has gone up significantly since last year."
With so many people coming and going from the airport, that hopefully means more people are coming and going to Tallahassee's tourist destinations. In order to keep it that way, 'Visit Tallahassee' could have its biggest marketing and advertising budget in 2014.
If the Council's budget is approved, more than a million dollars of the 3.7 million budget would go toward advertising and public relations.
Visit Tallahassee Executive Director, Lee Daniel: "We've actually had double digit growth the past two years and this is into our third year in terms of number of visitors, their direct spending, and also the number of tourism related jobs in the community. We've been very pleased with the results our marketing efforts have shown."
Thinking of the crowds who come for the famed Red Hills Horse Trials, the council approved a more than 84,000 dollar item in the budget that would help build a new cross country course for the Red Hills Horse trials in 2014.