TOURISM INDUSTRY IN BREVARD COUNTY GENERATES $742 million in wages
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – National Travel and Tourism Week is May 2-8 and is the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, spotlighting the critical role that travel will play in driving economic recovery efforts through this year’s theme of the Power of Travel.
On the Space Coast, tourism is the fourth largest employer with over 28,000 jobs (pre-COVID) resulting in $742 million in wages – 40% of which is paid by tourism spending.
In fact, if tourism did not exist, Brevard County residents would have to spend an additional $364 in taxes each to maintain the current State and local tax levels.
The pandemic has disrupted the industry, but the Space Coast is poised for a comeback. March hotel occupancy averaged 69.5% compared to a weekly 54.9% a year ago.
The Cocoa Beach Air Show and launch of SpaceX Dragon Crew-2 in April contributed to high occupancy levels surrounding those events.
The Power of Travel is evident with two of the main pillars of tourism on the Space Coast – space and cruising.
Since the return to human spaceflight in 2020, eleven years after the final Shuttle launch, the three flights have averaged 150,000 people coming from out of county to watch them and celebrate this historic moment in time.
Port Canaveral is the second busiest port in the world with 2.4 million passengers a year, so while space and nature were major drivers of tourism to the area during the past year, a large source of revenue has been absent.
As the CDC looks at the possibility of a return to cruising this Summer, it will boost the local economy both in visitor spending and with furloughed port employees gradually returning to work.
“We think this summer will be a big opportunity for some level of recovery for us. We’re launching a $2-million marketing campaign in June, and we believe that Americans are ready to travel again,” says Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director, Peter Cranis.
National Travel and Tourism Week is an opportunity to remind visitors and residents of the incredible contributions of the travel industry not just to our local economy and workforce, but to our community’s identity and culture.
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