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Convention and Visitors Bureau Reports Successful Year

Published Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:07 am

BRADENTON – The local area has seen an increase in visitors, expenditures, economic impact and employment as a result of the area’s visitation, for the third year in a row, according to Dr. Walter Klages of Data Research Services, who collected and analyzed data for the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Before reporting the annual “Year in Review” at Wednesday’s 2014 National Tourism Week luncheon, BACVB Executive Director Elliott Falcione said, “As we continue to see success in the tourism industry, our community will continue to benefit from these results by higher real estate values, job sustainability and an increase in sales tax revenues that improve the quality of life for our residents.”

https://www.thebradentontimes.com/clientuploads/StockImages/Coquina_Beach_275.jpg

Coquina Beach

Photo courtesy of BACVB

Statistics on tourism presented, included:

  • Tourism served as the largest job creator in the state of Florida
  • Tourism directly supported 1.1 million jobs in the state of Florida
  • Tourism generated $71.8 billion in taxable sales in the state of Florida
  • Tourism directly supported more than 20,500 jobs in the Bradenton Area alone
  • Tourism generated $40 million in state sales taxes in the Bradenton Area alone


In addition:

  • Total area visitors exceeded 2,839,300, up 1.5 percent from 2012
  • Expenditures by visitors in commercial lodging were $403,007,500, up 10.6 percent from 2012
  • Direct expenditures by all visitors to the area were $575,589,000, up 7.6 percent from 2012
  • Total economic impact of tourism in county was $909,027,700, up 7.6 percent from 2012
  • Total tourism-related employment opportunities were 20,500, up 3.5 percent from 2012


The Bradenton Area also reportedly saw Total Domestic and International Visitation increase by 6 percent to more than 570,300 in 2013, which contributed to a 15.8 percent total growth in Total Domestic and International Visitation over the past three years.

BACVB Executive Manager Debbie Meihls attributed the area’s tourism growth to factors including: increased efforts toward international visitors; continued growth in the sports marketing segment; enhanced partner relationships; increased focus on arts, culture and film; and heightened concentration on unique area events. Meihls also indicated that continued emergence of the film and arts scenes as well as new and returning events will serve as avenues to continued growth in 2014.

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Bean Point on AMI

photo courtesy of BACVB

Upcoming events of mention include:

  • The Bradenton Arts Movieville Film Festival (May 2014)
  • Harvest and Harmony (May 2014)
  • Florida State League All-Star Game at McKechnie Field (June 2014)
  • The Bradenton Blues Festival (December 2014)
  • The Bradenton Area Riverwalk Boat Regatta (February 2015)


Meihls also provided an update on the community-wide Certified Destination Ambassador Program launched in 2013. The program, designed to empower the community to know and represent the destination brand and provide opportunity for professional development through certification, is moving ahead in partnership with the University of South Florida.

“We are thrilled to report that the travel and tourism industry continues to show growth and have an increasingly positive impact on the area,” said Meihls. “The numbers from 2013 are positive and we are already looking ahead to the future for the Bradenton Area in 2014 and beyond. We know it will include further showcasing of the area’s world-class arts, film and sports opportunities, and we look forward to attracting even more visitors to the area to enjoy them.”

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