What’s the Impact of tourism here in St. Petersburg?

We all know tourists and the Dollars, Euros, Yen, Pounds, Renminbi and such that they bring to spend here add a nice punch to our local economy. But what are the latest figures?

During May 7-15, 2013, National Tourism Week will be celebrated locally to recognize the contributions the tourism industry provides through job creation in our market.

St. Petersburg/CLW is ranked as the most popular vacation destination along Florida’s west coast, with Pinellas County being recognized as the leading destination location on the Gulf Coast.

In 2012, tourism in Pinellas County shattered all records, earning the “best year ever” tagline. The area welcomed 5.4 million people, with 1.1 million as first-time visitors, and attained the single highest-grossing bed tax month in the history of the County. Tourism advertising and several economic development initiatives in the area are funded by the tourism bed tax.

It has been estimated that tourism contributes $216 to the local economy every second of every day and represents the largest job-creation industry in not only the area but in the State. It has been estimated that the economic impact of tourism in Pinellas County for 2012 was $7.8 billion.

St. Petersburg significantly contributes to this record boost in visitors to the area, through the variety of attractions the city offers; world-class museums, the Rays MLB, nature and nautical experiences, and the vast amount of arts, culture, and event activities……

Wow that’s a strong impact, one so large and powerful that we, as ESC members  should really focus on bringing more tourists here and AND showing them a better time.

Recently, D.T. Minich, executive director of Visit St. Petersburg/CLW Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB), completed a trip to the world’s biggest travel market for 2013 – China. The CVB intends to promote the area’s fabulous sunshine and glorious amenities through travel agencies/tour operators, to grow first-time visitors from this emerging European market, which is expected to surpass 200 million by 2025.

During National Tourism Week, there are two opportunities to show business/individual support for this job creation industry locally.

A Toast to Tourism will be held on May 7th from 5:00pm-7:30pm by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce. The networking social is being held at Fresco’s Waterfront Restaurant and will be open to both members and non-members of the Chamber. Register

Visit St. Petersburg/CLW Tourism Tailgate will take place on May 8th during the TB Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays game. All VSPC partners and guests are invited to enjoy food, spirits, entertainment and games for kids. Tailgate festivities begin at 4:30pm at Ferg’s Sports Bar, then proceed to Tropicana Field for first pitch at 7:10pm (Adults $10/ Kids $5).Learn More or call 727-464-7200.

Source: 2013 Visit St. Petersburg/CLW Annual Report

So when you see tourists wandering around, offer them a SMILE, directions and help as WE can be the best form of advertisement from our region to the rest of the globe!!


City of St. Petersburg   Economic Development Division

P.O. Box 2842   St. Petersburg, FL 33731

800-874-9026 (toll free)  727-893-7100 (phone)

© Copyright 2013 City of St. Petersburg Economic Development Division

Have a business story? Please submit suggestions to Kimberly Bailey or call 727-893-7784.

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