The travel and tourism industry is one of the United States’ largest industries, generating more than $1.5 trillion in direct travel expenditures this past year.
Closer to home, tourism is one of the largest economic industries in Florida, with approximately 98.9 million travelers visiting the Sunshine State in 2014. During their time here, visitors generated more than $82 billion in taxable sales. That amount of spending generated $4.9 billion 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.
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.
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.