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Future of tourism discussed at Wake Up Naples

Future of tourism discussed at Wake Up Naples

For decades tourism has been the leading influence of Florida’s economy, amounting close to $40 billion dollars in revenue each year, driving the state’s main source of income and increasing overall support for businesses and residents.

Prior to the pandemic, Florida experienced continuous evolution in the tourism industry, as millions of people flocked south and sought new avenues during their destination visits, but by March 2020, business and marketing personnel began to re-strategize their way of prioritizing the people who brought economic mobility to the state.

Primarily focusing on how to reinvigorate hope and ensure Naples and surrounding areas remain the gateway to paradise, businesses discussed the challenges and the possible opportunities that came with facing COVID-19; primarily strategizing the next steps in promoting Collier County’s mission for a safer future while ensuring positive headway for the region’s tourism industry.

Paul Beirnes, the executive director of the Naples, Marco Island and Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau, highlighted these shifts during Wake Up Naples on Jan. 12.

Since shutdown, money has gradually flowed back into the state as more visitors are booking longer stays and ultimately increasing revenue, boosting Florida’s tourism numbers averaging well above pre-pandemic levels.
Incredible recovery can be reached when initiatives envisioning a proactive future take charge of the difficult circumstances and regain momentum, Beirnes told attendees.

“All-time visitation records have increased since 2019. This [Collier County] is home to incredible accommodations awaiting in a single location,” he said. “Winter seasonality, our peak season, and resident-based passion for visitors have shown unbelievable numbers.”

Although lingering effects of the pandemic have remained apparent within this industry, Florida’s ability to attract visitors has been able to restore one of the most economically important factors making this travel spot resilient.

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