Collier broke visitor and tourism revenue records in 2021
NAPLES, Florida – The beaches of Naples attract over a million visitors a year, which means a lot of money for the county and its people.
The Collier County Convention and Visitors Bureau released its final numbers for 2021 on Wednesday, and they told a record-breaking story.
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau helped bring record numbers of people to town last year, which also meant a record amount of tax revenue to help Collier residents.
“Tourism marketing with the county government, CVB, has done a great job targeting and attracting visitors during this time,” said Clark Hill, general manager of the Hilton Naples.
Hill said the hotel has benefited from the tourism boom, even during the global pandemic.
At a Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday, Paul Beirnes, the new executive director of the county’s Convention and Tourism Bureau, released record tourism figures for 2021.
“The expense, length of stay was longer and higher for both, a complete victory in every way,” Beirnes said. “Our tax collection is now at an all time high, never higher in history.”
Beirnes said the county made more than $ 35 million from its hotel bed tax last year. It’s money that goes to renovating beaches, beach facilities, and local museums, among others.
“(Naples is) a wealthy destination that has arts, culture, incredible restaurants, incredible beaches, and facilities that could never be sustained with the tax base that sits here in Collier County,” said Beirnes. “We should celebrate the return and the number of people traveling on our roads.”
Over 1.5 million visitors came to Collier County in 2021, a historic record. This resulted in an economic impact of more than $ 2.5 billion, another all-time high.
Susan Suarez is CEO of the Holocaust Museum in Naples, and she said she sees visitors not only during the winter season, but all year round.
“Visitors are definitely coming back,” Suarez said. “We had a great summer last summer with many families taking road trips and coming to Naples.”
Beirnes said he still sees pent-up demand for travel from people trapped at home during the pandemic. For this reason, he said he expects another strong year for tourism in 2022.