FORT MYERS — Tourism-tax collections jumped 9.2% to $26.5 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 compared with the prior year, according to the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau.
The lodging-tax revenues were significantly higher than they were during the downturn of 2008-2009. This year's collections were 21.2% higher than the $21.8 million collected that fiscal year, the bureau noted.
“Our international marketing efforts to draw visitors to Lee County are more successful than ever and continue to make tourism the cornerstone of our local economy,” says Bureau Executive Director Tamara Pigott in a statement. Foreign visitors tend to stay longer and spend more than their domestic counterparts.
Visitation to Lee County rose 1.8% from fiscal year 2010-2011, the bureau reported. Average occupancy increased 2.4%, and the average daily room rate climbed 4.1%. Average length of stay for visitors also finished 4% higher year-over-year.