Tourism in Florida

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.



Tourism Research

The Show May Not Go On: An analysis of the cost of severe cuts to Florida's tourism marketing

03/2017 // Florida tourism is an absolutely critical industry to the state, employing millions of people and contributing millions of dollars to state coffers. Despite its importance to the Sunshine State, tourism is in the crosshairs of the Florida House, a costly decision according to this report. 


Welcoming the World

02/2016 // Tourism is vital to the economy of Florida, and with the recovery of the world economy, international travel across the world is reaching record highs. This, coupled with data showing the major positive impact international tourists have on economies, provides evidence that Florida should expand its efforts when it comes to attracting foreign visitors to the state. 


Making Room for 100 Million Visitors

04/2015 // To bring attention to the current state of Florida’s infrastructure, and whether it can continue to meet the needs of both residents and visitors, this report looks at evaluations of the capacity of various components that support the tourism industry, including airports, roads, and cruise terminals. 


Florida Is The World's Port Of Call

04/2015 // Florida residents are keenly aware that tourism is an important economic engine providing power to the state economy, and several Florida TaxWatch publications provide economic data supporting this observation. Tourism is one of the top providers of jobs for Floridians and a serves as a major source of tax revenue for the state. 


Medical Tourism in Florida

10/2014 // Already a capital of global tourism, Florida has an opportunity to bring even more tourists and more revenue to the state by investing in medical tourism, according to this report, which finds that patients visiting Florida from around the United States and the world for planned medical procedures could have a significant impact on the state economy and while improving residents' health care options. 


Northwest Florida's Opportunities for Growth

09/2014 // State and local economic development professionals, with help from the Florida Legislature, are working to diversify the Panhandle's economy using the area's transportation assets, skilled workforce, and natural coastlines. The Panhandle region is home to three seaports, six military installations, natural coastlines and 1.4 million permanent residents, creating major opportunities for growth in skilled manufacturing, trade and logistics, and tourism 


Unpacking the Benefits of Florida Tourism

08/2014 // Investment in Floridas tourism industry resulted in nearly 76,000 jobs created in 2013, according to this report. The independent analysis shows that the state should meet the goal of attracting 100 million visitors to Florida by 2015, which has a significant impact on job creation in the state. 


Economic Commentary - Florida: The Fishing Capital of the World

08/2013 // According to this months Economic Commentary, in 2013, more than 1.2 million non-residents fished during a visit to Florida. In addition to attracting anglers from around the world to fish, Florida hosts boating and fishing expos throughout the year, drawing visitors and their tax dollars to the state economy. Florida's unique location and variety of fishing opportunities position the state as the world leader in sport fishing tourism.  


Investing in Tourism: the Economic Impact of Expanding Florida Tourism

01/2013 // The economic modeling done in this Report, looking at the impact of investing more in Florida's tourism industry, indicates that the Florida tourism industry reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs, and increase overall personal income for Floridians by $5.3 billion. 


Florida Needs a Better Method to Estimate Tourism's Economic Impact

03/2007 //  


The Impact of Tourism on Florida's Economy: Telling a More Complete Story

03/2006 //  


$20 Million Needed Now to Bring Back Florida Tourism

04/2003 //  


The Benefits and Costs of Tourism to Florida

08/2000 //  


Florida's Tourism Promotion Effort Could Eat the State's Seedcorn

04/1996 //  


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106 N. BRONOUGH ST., TALLAHASSEE, FL 32301
TEL: 850.222.5052     |     FAX: 850.222.7476

Media Inquiries:  Contact Leah Courtney by Email or Phone: 850.212.5052

Media Inquiries:
Contact Leah Courtney by Email
or Phone: 850.212.5052