Hurricane Irma slows down tourism growth in October in Collier County

 Tuesday, November 28, 2017 

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tourism growth in Collier CountyHurricane Irma scared away many would-be visitors away from Collier County in October. Visitor numbers dropped by 11.3 percent over the year.

 

The county saw 139,100 visitors, compared with 156,900 a year ago, according to a report by Tampa-based Research Data Services Inc. The report counts only visitors spending the night in hotels or other short-stay vacation rentals.

 

Irma, which hit the county Sept. 10 gave rise to other negative comparisons year-over-year.

 

 

However, in October, the picture looked up a little bit. Occupancy rose 6.2 percent based on the rental units that were available, and the average daily rate increased 3.2 percent over the same month last year.

 

The hurricane kept visitors away in large numbers in September. Visitor numbers fell more than 31 percent, and the number of room nights booked declined 19 percent and visitor spending decreased by more than 14 percent over the year.

 

From January to October, the county had fewer than 1.48 million visitors, going down by 1.1 percent from the same months a year ago.

 

However, the upcoming times promise “positive intent to travel” besides the area’s traditional busy season from November to April.

 

Demand for travel coming from the United Kingdom and Germany is expected to be particularly strong in the coming year. Jack Wert, Collier County’s tourism director said, “We were hoping for a good year,” he said. “Now we’re starting to see that ’17 was a flat year, ’18 really does look stronger.”

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