Amelia Island, FL – The Amelia Island Tourist Development Council (TDC) is reporting double-digit increases and new record high numbers for guests visiting the destination in fiscal year 2014. From October 2013 through September 2014, Amelia Island welcomed nearly 570,000 visitors, a 12.4 percent increase over 2013. The resulting economic impact of $504,673,000 is a 19.5 percent increase from the previous year. Direct spending on lodging, dining, sightseeing and other tourist activities also increased to $383,577,600, a 19.5 percent increase.
“Thanks to a lot of hard work and many favorable conditions, it’s been another great year for tourism on Amelia Island,” said Gil Langley, Managing Director of the Amelia Island TDC. “This marks the fourth consecutive year of tourism growth for Amelia, which continues to develop as one of the top island destinations in North America.”
The TDC recently released results of its 2014 Visitor Profile conducted by Research Data Services, Inc. The report showed increases in occupancy (6.3 percent), Average Daily Rate (6 percent) and Revenue per Available Room (12.6 percent) over 2013.
According to the report, the majority of visitors to Amelia Island originate in the southeastern United States and Florida, with continued growth from the northeast and Midwestern states. Most notably, foreign visitation was up by 26.9 percent in 2014, with nearly 24,000 international overnight guests.
The 2014 Visitor Profile also shows an average length of stay at 4.4 nights, with approximately 2.8 people in each party. More than 55 percent of visitors were vacationing on Amelia Island for the first time and 98 percent of all visitors were satisfied with their experience at the destination.
According to Langley, the island’s lodging partners generated more than $112 million in taxable revenue last fiscal year. Generating more than 38 percent of the total sales tax collections in Nassau County, tourism is a critical component to the economic vitality of the destination.
One in four jobs in Nassau County are supported by the tourism industry, with the Omni Amelia Island Plantation and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island being the two largest private sector employers in the county. Recent expansions and job opportunities at the two resorts have helped lower the county’s unemployment rate to 5 percent, which is lower than the state average of 6 percent, Langley added.
Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
About Amelia Island
Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Its long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife and pristine waters have made the island a favorite destination for outdoor adventure. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries.
Forget the everyday getaway; Come make memories on Amelia Island. For visitor information and online planning, visit www.ameliaisland.com.