Florida on track to beat tourism record

Posted at 9:42 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 21:42:44-04

There is good news for our local economy.

Palm Beach County is well on its way to seeing more tourists than ever before, which means more jobs.

More than three million people have already visited Palm Beach County in the first half of the year.

Tourism leaders say if tourist numbers continue to thrive, they'll surpass their projected target before the end of the year.

Last year, tourism brought in more than seven billion dollars to the county.

Colette Milika took a quick trip up from Ft. Lauderdale.

"Oh yes. That's nothing. It was only 40 miles or something," she said. "This is completely different. It's very very lovely, we've enjoyed ourselves very much."

And it's visitors like Colette, Palm Beach County tourist leaders want to see more of in our area.

Discover The Palm Beaches tourism bureau is going after visitors like Colette, people who live a short drive away.

"We're really pleased right now to see that our stratigic marketing efforts are really reflected in the increase in tourism to Palm Beach County, especially when it comes to our drive markets," said Ashley Svarney, director of PR for Discover The Palm Beaches

The tourism group rolled out 60 second ads back in May, hoping to get the attention of those living nearby.

Those spots airing in heavy populated cities like Tampa, Miami, Orlando and Atlanta.

"The traffic that they're going through. When tourist are coming to you such as from Orlando, we ask, where do you go to vacation? Where do you go to disconnect and recharge?" said Svarney.

Tourism leaders believe these ads could now be working.

They tracked a 16% increase in visitors, staying in local hotels, just from Miami alone.

Colette is one of those visitors planning to come back soon.

"The buildings are beautiful, the whole setting is beautiful," she said.

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