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The economic impact of tourism in Collier County increased 12.7% since the start of the fiscal year in October, with most visitors coming from the Midwest and Northeast.

Direct spending by visitors increased by 14.1% in May, with the total economic impact of tourism growing 13.9%, Jay Tusa, tourism director for the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, told the county Tourism Development Council at its June 18 meeting.

Records show 6.79 million visitors spent $1.94 billion, with an economic impact of $2.69 billion this fiscal year.

“We saw an increase in the number of couples visiting in the area,” Tusa said, adding that out-of-state visitors made up half the growth overall, while international visitors, including those from Canada, Germany and the U.K., totaled 17%. “That’s a significant number for international visitation.”

The county’s occupancy rate increased 4.3% in May, compared with a year earlier, mostly due to an increase in vacation rentals, Tusa said, noting that average daily rate jumped 13.5% from last May.

Tourist Development Tax data shows $8.13 million was collected countywide in April, bringing the total to $33.9 million this fiscal year, with most coming from hotels—$19 million. In comparison, single-family homes brought in $8 million this fiscal year, while condos garnered $2.8 million. The remainder came from property management companies, recreational vehicle parks and campgrounds, apartments and interval owners, which are similar to time shares. April was the highest-earning month.

The average daily rate increased 10.6% year over year in April, which resulted in a revenue per available room of $243, up from $211 last year, said James Brendle, project director for Downs & St. Germain Research.

“Your ADR and your RevPAR is also second highest … behind only the Florida Keys,” Brendle said of similar vacation areas, adding that April visitation was up 2.5%, with nearly 240,000 visitors, while room nights edged up just more than 16%, about 298,000 room nights.

Occupancy for hotels and vacation rentals increased 4% in April, while the average daily rate was up almost 11%. Although hotel occupancy dipped from last year, he said, vacation rentals made up for that.

“The lag in vacation rental recovery time was a little bit longer than the lag in the hotel recovery time … so we saw vacation rentals were carrying that occupancy increase,” Brendle said of Hurricane Ian, adding that homeowners take longer to recover.

Paradise Coast Sports Complex reported second quarter revenues of $1.75 million, $342,530 over budget, and $1.13 million in gross profits, which was $372,926 over budget.

“March was our second highest revenue month on record, thanks to Trilogy (Lacrosse),” said Adrian Moses of Sports Facilities Companies, the complex’s general manager. “Our No. 1 month was December of ’23, so we continue to break records in this fiscal year with the events that we’re able to do, and we put that down to the additional fields that we have, allowing us greater leverage.”

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