Positive Outlook Prevails at Annual Collier State of Tourism Presentation

2018 Peak Season Outperforms 2017; Tourism Economic Impact Up in 2017 Despite Hurricane Irma

Naples, Fla.(May 8, 2018) – Collier County tourism executive director Jack Wert painted a positive picture regarding tourism performance during 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 during his annual Collier County State of Tourism presentation today at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples in honor of National Travel and Tourism Week.

For the first quarter 2018 (January through March) visitation was up 2.1 percent and economic impact was up 5.9 percent over the same peak season period in 2016. Overall visitation in 2017 was down only 1.1 percent over the previous year despite two months of low visitation in September and October after Hurricane Irma. Direct visitor spending of $1,373,918,000 and overall economic impact from tourism of $2,048,511,800 were both up 3.4 percent in 2017.

“The fast return of visitors post-Irma along with high demand during the 2018 peak winter season puts us ahead in several key performance categories for tourism,” said Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “That high interest and demand for short-term lodging should continue into next quarter. Over half of Collier County lodging managers reported in March that their three-month forward reservation levels were up over the same period last year.”

Wert presented snapshots of the tourism bureau’s 2018 “Love, Paradise” marketing campaign. The campaign gives Florida’s Paradise Coast its own voice, which speaks directly to potential visitors in love letter style, illustrating the many ways visitors can experience the joys of the destination.

In addition to the State of Tourism presentation, the bureau is posting messages to its social media channels and utilizing Facebook Live streaming to highlight the region as a visitor destination during National Travel and Tourism Week. This year is the 35th anniversary of the commemorative week, created by the U.S. Travel Association to highlight importance of travel to and within the U.S. Tourism is in the Top 10 of employers in 49 of the 50 states and in Washington. D.C. and one in nine American families depend on visitors for their livelihood.

Representatives from area hotels, attractions and other tourism-related businesses attended. Wert also issued an invitation for area tourism partners to attend the annual full-day strategic marketing brainstorming workshop on June 27 at Rookery Bay.

Q1 2018 Tourism Results







Economic Impact



2017 Tourism Results







Direct Visitor Spending



Economic Impact



Tourism Industry Supported Jobs



About Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism destination marketing and management organization for Collier County, Florida, known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. The CVB produces the area’s ongoing destination marketing campaigns, tourism website and visitor guide and provides information and assistance for group meeting and sports event planners, travel media, tour operators, and travel agents. Tourism is the key economic engine for Collier County. More than 1.7 million visitors annually provide an economic impact of over $2 billion and support 38,000 local jobs. Ongoing destination marketing by the CVB is a key driver of visitation resulting in short-term stays in paid lodging that collect the Collier County Tourism Development Tax, which pays for beach renourishment, amateur sports facilities, destination marketing, county museums, and cultural and event grants.

For more information about Collier County Tourism, call the CVB at 239-252-6292. For information on vacationing or holding meetings in the destination, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com. For information about bringing a sports event to the area, visit www.ParadiseCoast.com/sports. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast, and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.

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