Collier County tourist visitation up nearly 8 percent in 2011

Lexey Swall/Staff
Jean Campbell suns herself at the beach at Lowdermilk Park on Tuesday in Naples. Collier County commissioners voted to seek permits for beach renourishment projects for Marco Island and Naples. The projects will cost $3 million for Marco Island and $31 million for Naples and which will begin in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Commissioner Georgia Hiller was the one dissenting vote.

Photo by LEXEY SWALL

Lexey Swall/Staff Jean Campbell suns herself at the beach at Lowdermilk Park on Tuesday in Naples. Collier County commissioners voted to seek permits for beach renourishment projects for Marco Island and Naples. The projects will cost $3 million for Marco Island and $31 million for Naples and which will begin in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Commissioner Georgia Hiller was the one dissenting vote.

— At an industry briefing Thursday, Jack Wert, Collier County's tourism director, shared the final statistics for 2011.

Visitation set a record in the county with nearly 1.5 million visitors last year, up 7.7 percent over 2010.

Here's a look at the other statistics for 2011 and how they compared to 2010 based on information from Research Data Services, a county consultant: direct spending by visitors: more than $782 million, up 10.6 percent; total economic impact: nearly $1.3 billion, up 10.6 percent; average daily rate: $155.80, up 3.3 percent; annual hotel occupancy: 66.7 percent, up 6.4 percent; tourism industry jobs: 30,600, up 5.5 percent; visitor sales and gas taxes: nearly $82.6 million, up 10.6 percent; and tax savings per household: $691, up 9.6 percent.

Last year, tourism generated about $13.8 million in tourist taxes, up 6.8 percent over 2010.

Wert released the statistics at the briefing, held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, Golf Club & Spa.

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