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Report: Sarasota County visitors declined in April


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The number of visitors to Sarasota County declined in April year over year, according to a new report from Visit Sarasota County, the tourism arm for the area. 

Overall visitors was one of several data points showing a decrease year-over-year; meanwhile, the rate for lodging saw a slight increase.

In April there were 120,800 visitors to Sarasota County, compared with 136,800 in 2023, the report says, an 11.7% decline year over year.

Visitors were not the only metric trending down — spending and lodging data also reflected year-over-year decreases. 

The amount people were spending while staying in Sarasota was down slightly year-over-year. Visitors’ direct expenditures were $174,210,500 in April compared with $177,372,100 in April 2023, tourism officials say.

Lodging data showed occupancy and the number of room nights sold were down, too. Lodging occupancy was 66.9% compared with 73.9% in April 2023, and there were 313,400 room nights sold compared with 332,400 in April 2023.

For those staying in Sarasota County, rates for lodging went up year over year, representing the one increase in the report. The average room rate in April in Sarasota County was $297.37 compared with $293.33 in April 2023.

The decrease in overall visitors in April came a month after March saw a surge in visitors, with 159,400 visitors coming to Sarasota County, after months of a downward trend. Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, or SRQ, also reported a record number of passengers in March.

Consistent with the Visit Sarasota County data, SRQ saw a year-over-year decrease in passengers in April. There were 443,089 passengers traveling through SRQ in April compared with 451,036 in April 2023, representing a 1.76% decrease.

 

author

Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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