Visit Tampa Bay study says visitors helped support nearly 50,000 jobs.
TAMPA — A Visit Tampa Bay study found visitors pumped nearly $6 billion into Tampa Bay's economy in 2016.
According to a press release, visitors helped support nearly 50,000 jobs. The agency's tourism data showed a record 22.6 million people visited Tampa and Hillsborough County in 2016, including nearly 500,000 international visitors from Europe, Latin America and other areas. Visitors created a $5.9 billion economic impact in the region — $3.8 billion in direct spending (up 5.5% from 2015) and another $2.1 billion in induced spending or so-called “ripple effects.”
“Tourism is an economic engine that runs 24 hours a day,” says Visit Tampa Bay President and CEO Santiago Corrada in a statement. “This report shows clearly the sizable benefit our community receives from visitors, whether they come for leisure, meetings or business.”
The study — part of Visit Tampa Bay's annual examination of tourism's impact on the local economy — revealed that some 9 million overnight visitors came to Tampa Bay in 2016 staying on average 2.9 days. Domestic overnight visitors spent an average of $236 per day in the area (for a total of $2 billion). International visitors represented the smallest portion of overall visitors, but they spent the most — an average of $1,327 per person per trip (totaling $640.8 million).
According to a press release, tourism-related jobs represent the fastest-growing segment of the Tampa Bay area job market and the fastest growing in terms of income.