Amelia Island Convention Visitors Bureau
March 12, 2018 10:00 a.m.
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (March 9, 2018) – The Amelia Island Tourist Development Council has reported another record-setting year for 2017, with 666,000 overnight visitors (a 5 percent increase) spending $485 million on island, a 6.6 percent increase over 2016. This marks the eighth consecutive year for increased taxable revenue growth for the destination, which also saw increases in all other major visitation metrics, despite weathering two hurricanes during the fiscal year. The total economic impact of tourism in Nassau County in 2017 topped $638 million, an increase of 6.75 percent over the previous year.
“We’re achieving our goal of creating a sustainable tourism industry for Nassau County by focusing on increased visitor yield over volume,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We’re attracting visitors who will stay longer, spend more and fill rooms during our slower seasons.”
In addition to record visitation and spending, the Amelia Island TDC reported year-over-year increases in taxable room sales, occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPar). The ADR on island increased 1.6 percent to $223.30 (a 38 percent increase since 2010), and RevPar was up 3.6 percent to $161.57, an 84 percent increase since 2010. Occupancy in 2017 was 72.4 percent, which is a 2 percent increase over 2016 and a 34 percent increase since 2010. Visitors produced more than $138 million in taxable room sales (up 4.1 percent over 2016), which exceeded projections by 13 percent and represents a nearly 100 percent (97%) increase over 2010.
“This kind of success is only possible due to continued support from the County Commission, our local industry partners and the greater island community,” added Langley. “We are also fortunate to have an exceptional team at the CVB who skillfully executes the strategic plan.”
According to Langley, that plan includes efforts to build international visitation, which was up 12.3 percent in 2017, including Canada (6%), the U.K. (14.2%) and German-speaking countries (19.3%). Also helping drive visitation during slower “shoulder seasons” are special events such as the Pétanque Amelia Island Open and Dickens on Centre, which together generated $3.5 million in economic impact in one 30-day period.
Tourism remains the largest private sector industry in Nassau County, accounting for 24 percent of total employment, with $121 million in payroll, and 38 percent of the county’s sales tax generated by lodging providers, restaurants and other tourism related businesses (a 6 percent increase from 2016).