Florida TaxWatch: Tourism increase would create thousands of jobs

Fla. Tourism
Posted at 1:38 PM, Jan 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-07 07:58:34-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The economic benefit of increasing Florida tourism would have a substantial impact on the pockets of Floridians statewide, according to a new study.

Results from Investing in Tourism: The Economic Impact of Expanding Florida Tourism, a Florida TaxWatch study, indicate that the Florida tourism industry reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs, and increase overall personal income for Floridians by $5.3 billion.

"This analysis and economic modeling presented in this report show the importance of tourism to Florida's economy," said Dominic M. Calabro, President & CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the statewide, independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institution. "Florida welcomed more than 87 million tourists last year, which makes 100 million a reasonable, achievable goal. Increasing investments in this key sector, using Florida's current infrastructure, would put Floridians to work now, and expand tax revenue for cities, counties, and the state."

Results from a dynamic econometric model indicate that reaching the milestone of 100 million annual visitors would create 121,298 jobs, of which 114,318 would be private non-farm jobs. Direct tourism jobs make up 50.7 percent of the total, with indirect and induced jobs accounting for the other 49.3 percent. The estimated average salary of these newly-created jobs is $43,751.75. Personal income for Floridians would increase by $5.3 billion.

"One major benefit of investing in this economic sector is that it will help diversify Florida's portfolio," said Jerry D. Parrish, Florida TaxWatch Chief Economist, Executive Director of the Florida TaxWatch Center for Competitive Florida, and lead researcher on this Report. "This diversification away from the Florida business cycle helps stabilize Florida's overall economy."

To read the full report, click here.