Value of Tourism

Tourism Is the Backbone of Our Economy

The travel and tourism industry is one of the United States’ largest industries, generating $739 billion in travel expenditures this past year and $116 billion travel-generated tax revenue. Travel and tourism also is one of America’s largest employers, with 7.7 million direct travel-generated jobs.

Closer to home, tourism is one of the largest economic industries in Florida, with approximately 82.4 million travelers visiting the Sunshine State in 2007. During their time here, visitors generated more than $65 billion in taxable sales. That amount of spending generated $3.9 billon in tax-related revenue to the state of Florida, which is spent on public necessities such as schools, transportation, museums and enhancing Florida’s offerings to entice even more visitors. Nearly 1 million Floridians are employed by the tourism industry, creating a combined annual payroll of $15.4 billion.

Here in Lee County, tourism employs 1 out of every 5 people. We receive approximately 5 million visitors a year that generate approximately $3 billion in economic impact. Just this past year, the Tourist Tax collection generated $23.1 million dollars.

Not only do we benefit from the economic impact of the industry in dollars and cents, but we also benefit from the quality of life to which it contributes. In essence, tourism is a tool for enhancing what we love about our region - from its ecological wonders to its history and culture.