Why Tourism and Travel Matters to Florida

thThe Travel industry is beyond any question the lifeline and blood in Florida’s economy. From Miami and the Keys to Orlando and the Gulf Coast, to the Panhandle us up here on the First Coast, without the tens of millions of visitors every year, this state would still be a quilt of swamp land, dry savannas and sinkholes and residents would be taxed with state income tax.

In a previous article, I introduced the effect that certain industries have on our economy, not just from a domestic standpoint but from a global perspective as well. As we discovered, coffee production, as large as it is, still pales in comparison to the travel business. With billions of travel dollars generated every day, I want to share with you  some of the impact this industry has on the U.S. as well as our home state of Florida.

Here are a few facts:

TRAVEL AND TOURISM IS ONE OF AMERICA’S LARGEST INDUSTRIES
♣    In 2013, tour and travel generated $2.1 trillion in economic output.
♣    Wages shared by American workers directly employed by travel was $209.5 billion.
♣    Generated tax revenue for local, state and federal governments was $133.9 billion. (Without this income, it is estimated that each U.S. household would pay more than $1000 in extra taxes and we’d definitely paying personal income tax here in Florida)
♣    Travel makes up 2.7% of the U.S. GDP – Gross Domestic Product
♣    Travel ranks No.1 among all U.S. industry exports
♣    1 out of 9 U.S. jobs depends on travel and tourism
♣    Travel ranks No.6 in terms of employment compared to other major private industry sectors

TRAVEL AND TOURISM IN FLORIDA
♣    Domestic and International travel to the state generated over $75 billion dollars last year.
♣    Generated tax revenue for state and local governments was over $11 billion dollars.
(These dollars help fund jobs and public programs like police, firefighters, teachers, road projects and convention centers)
♣    Employment payroll was nearly $21 billion dollars.
♣    Jobs created in 2012 – over 800,000. This represents 13 percent of the state’s total non-farm employment.
♣    For every $1 million spent by travelers to Florida, 11 jobs are created.

It is also worth mentioning that Travel is among the “Top 10” industries in 49 states and D.C. in terms of employment.

I hope this helps you to understand the enormity of the Travel industry in the U.S economy as well as the stability of Florida’s economic status. It may also help understanding the necessity for a long term travel and tourism plan on local, regional, statewide and national level, much of which is unfortunately still sorely lacking vision.

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