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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Esmeralda Swartz, Hovhannes Avoyan, Elizabeth White, Adrian Bridgwater

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Spring-Summer Vacation Season Sets Records in Jacksonville

Latest Reports Show Jacksonville's Tourism Industry Is Booming

JACKSONVILLE, FL--(Marketwired - September 04, 2014) - What a summer! Jacksonville's spring and summer vacation season has come to an end, but it leaves behind great successes for our destination. Duval County's hotel occupancy tracking system, Smith Travel Research, released numbers showing hotel occupancy was up across the city, and earnings were up to levels not previously seen in the 10 years the company has been tracking tourism in the county. Jacksonville is on trend with the rest of the state in reporting record-breaking visitation numbers for the spring and summer seasons in 2014.

"All those visitors and busy hotels mean one thing: an infusion of dollars into our local economy that leaves an impact not only on hotels but also on the entire community, with visitors spending their money in local restaurants, stores, attractions, and businesses," said Paul Astleford, President and CEO of Visit Jacksonville, the city's official Tourism Office.

The best numbers and news from the Smith Travel Research report is that in June and July of 2014, Jacksonville hotels saw the highest ever revenue per available room, levels we had not seen since they began tracking the numbers in 2004. Another great highlight from the report is that when it comes to hotel revenue generated during spring and summer 2014, Duval county hotels collected 15.2% more revenue than in 2013. The total for the second quarter (April, May, and June) was $92,171,855M compared to $80,030,534M in 2013. May's overall Room Revenue was just shy of the amount for February 2005 when the Super Bowl was here.

"We attribute that growth to many things including a focused marketing effort to promote Jacksonville as a destination where you can explore the outdoors, enjoy a beach vacation, come for a great festival, and visit a vibrant city where there is always something to do. We are a city of parks, festivals, events, and adventures and this year more and more people are discovering that," added Astleford.

Smith Travel Research Duval County Tourism Occupancy Report: April- July 2014

April:

  • Occupancy 71.2% (a growth of 2.9% over last year)
  • Average Daily Rate $79.08 ( a growth of 4.7% from last year or $3.53)
  • Revenue Per Available Room $56.33 (up 7.7% from last year or $4.02)
  • This is the highest April Revenue Per Available Room Duval County has seen since Feb. 2008

May:

  • Occupancy 71.8% ( a growth of 11.2% from 2013)
  • Average Daily Rate $80.77 (a growth over 2013 of 7.0% or up $5.29)
  • Revenue Per Available Room $57.97, (up 19.0% over May 2013)
  • Even Higher Revenue Per Available Room than April 2014

June:

  • Occupancy 69.3% ( a growth of 6.2% over 2013)
  • Average Daily Rate $78.58 ( a growth of 7.5% or $5.45 more than last year)
  • Revenue Per Available Room $54.48 (a 14.1% growth over 2013)
  • Highest June Revenue Per Available Room for Duval County since Smith Travel Research began collecting the data in 2004 for Duval/Jacksonville

July:

  • Occupancy 68.6% (the highest July occupancy in Jacksonville since 2005)
  • Average Daily Rate $77.13 (the highest for July since 2007)
  • Revenue Per Available Room $52.93
  • Highest July Revenue Per Available Room for Duval County since Smith Travel Research began collecting the data in 2004 for Duval/Jacksonville

The report showed growth in occupancy and earning for all areas of the city, especially the Beaches and the Southside area.

"Overall both spring and summer have been the best we have seen since 2008 and we feel very excited for the remaining 2014. We anticipate a strong 2015!" said Sonny Bhikha, president of Shivam Properties LLC, which owns and manages several hotels in Jacksonville Beach including the Four Points by Sheraton Jacksonville Beachfront. "The Beaches have become a popular travel destination, and I am happy to say that the corporate groups are back and families are traveling with their young ones as well. We are blessed to have a city that does so many events that help bring in new faces, many of them visiting for the first time."

Smith Travel Research will release August occupancy and earning numbers in mid-September, but early estimates show the upward trend will continue. Visit Jacksonville will present all the tourism data and more good news on our local Tourism Industry at our Annual Meeting "Destination Celebration: Wave of Impact" at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on September 17, 2014.

Online version: www.visitjacksonville.com/media/news-releases/spring-summer-vacation-season-sets-records-in-jacksonville/

About Visit Jacksonville

Visit Jacksonville is a nonprofit marketing organization contracted by the Duval County Tourist Development Council (TDC) to champion the growth of business and leisure tourism in Northeast Florida. Along with its nearly 400 tourism partners, Visit Jacksonville supports a vital and growing component of the local economy -- with tourism generating $2.2 billion in direct and indirect economy impact annually and supporting 22,000 jobs that span every sector of the economy. For a closer look at all there is to see and do in Jacksonville, go to www.VisitJacksonville.com or contact 800-733-2668.

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