A TaxWatch Top Issue
Florida has a well-developed tourism infrastructure, developed around its natural and man-made attractions, and nowhere are there so many varied and quality attractions that can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Tourism is the number one provider of jobs for Floridians. It is a major provider of tax revenue for cities, counties and the state of Florida.
TaxWatch analysis reveals that tourism is less correlated to the Florida business cycle
than most Florida industries, and one of the most correlated with the U.S. business cycle. Tourism gives portfolio diversification to the state, helping avoid wide swings in the returns to Florida.
The Florida tourism industry was one of only three sectors creating jobs for Floridians during the early part of the Florida recession. During the U.S. recession, tourism lost the second-least number of jobs on a percentage basis of all the Florida sectors. Since the U.S. recession ended, the job creation of Florida tourism is second, behind Health Care and Social Assistance.
TaxWatch research reveals that one of the ways to diversify the Florida economy, create jobs, improve the income of Floridians, and do it with existing infrastructure and the expansion of that infrastructure is to increase Florida tourism spending by attracting more visitors to Florida and having them stay longer, and spend more.
The economic impact of Florida reaching its next major milestone, 100 million annual visitors, would create 121,298 jobs, of which 14,318 would be private non-farm jobs. Direct tourism jobs make up 50.7 percent of the total, with indirect and induced jobs accounting for the other 49.3 percent. The estimated average salary of these jobs is $43,751.75. Personal income for Floridians would increase by $5.307 billion.