Tourism Flexes Economic Muscle in Leon County

Tallahassee, Fla. – Oct. 2, 2014 – Lee Daniel, executive director of the Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee), asked tourism industry members to “take a bow” Thursday in celebration of a record year, which saw the direct spending from visitors edge closer to $1 billion annually.

Daniel made the announcement at the annual Marketing Rollout at Miller’s Ale House, noting that Leon County’s 2.7 million visitors last year infused nearly $914 million of direct spending into the local economy. “When you consider a very conservative 1.49 economic multiplier, that makes tourism a billion dollar industry here,” Daniel said. Averaged over 365 days, that means 7,397 people visit daily and produce $2.5 million in direct spending each day in Leon County.

“Five years of increased visitation proves that tourism continues to be a fundamental force in our local economy.” Daniel said. “We had a very good year including 17 consecutive months of increased hotel occupancy.” 

Other measures of success for fiscal year 2013-2014 include:

  • 4.3% increase in bed-tax collections which fund all tourism promotional efforts
  • 2.6% increase in hotel occupancy
  • 6.6% increase in Average Daily Rate at area hotels
  • 6.8% increase in total hotel revenue

Marketing rollout attendees received a preview of the County’s 2014-2015 tourism marketing plan, cooperative advertising and sales opportunities available to industry members and the 2015 visitor’s guide. Daniel recapped the success of several initiatives during the past year, which included the division’s first television advertising buy using video footage provided by visitors and residents to produce a 30-second commercial that aired during the Kickoff Classic featuring Florida State – Oklahoma State earlier this year. The television ads ran on ABC affiliates in Pensacola/Mobile, Panama City and Columbus, GA. The user-generated content resulted from the #IHeartTally advertising campaign introduced last year.

Additionally, during the past year, the division completely revised the VisitTallahassee.com website, received several awards for Trailahassee.com which showcases area trails and developed a third website – CapitalCityAmphitheater.com – which highlights events and concerts at the area’s newest attraction, Cascades Park.

“Our Tourism Development team continues to raise the bar through so many creative and innovative methods that provide significant information about our community,” said Vincent S. Long, Leon County Administrator.  “Whether it’s developing a new highly functional, mobile-responsive website or developing simple, well-designed campaigns, they are constantly reinventing new impactful ways to reach and greatly assist visitors to our region – as well as Leon County residents, who enjoy the wonderful offerings that we have right here in our own back yard.”

The Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee) is the official tourism marketing organization for Tallahassee and Leon County Florida, promoting tourism to the area through direct sales, advertising, public relations, sports, film, product development and visitor services. For more information, visit www.VisitTallahassee.com

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Visit Tallahassee

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Leon County Division of Tourism Development (Visit Tallahassee)

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