SARASOTA SUCCEEDING WITH SPORTS TOURISM
We Floridians are the masters of tourism, and our economy heavily depends on it. There are all kinds of tourism, including medical, traditional, and others I am sure. Are you familiar with sports tourism? You should be because if Sarasota is any kind of example (and I think it is) you will be seeing much more of it soon. What exactly is sports tourism? It is when a city schedules sporting events that bring competitors to the area for the given event. Given our great weather, even in the summer, this can be done year round (well maybe sometimes in the rain but still works). But Sarasota smartly scheduled some of these events in the traditionally slower summer months. How did that work out? They recorded $1,000,000 in tourism taxes in the month of May, which is the first time this has ever happened. Tourism is up over 8% for the month and there is a 13% increase in spending by these tourists. Given that they have over 100 different sporting events scheduled this year, don't expect to see these numbers drop anytime soon. Last year they made $71 million dollars from it although that number is expected to fall to $50 million this year due to less international events. So it seems as if Sarasota has figured out how to make money year round with this sports tourism formula. In fact they were rated the top sports tourism destination in the entire country. How long will it be before other Florida cities follow suit and possibly compete for these lucrative sporting events? Irrespective of sports tourism, I am sure you have all noticed a huge increase in traffic in general this summer. The off seasons we used to enjoy with less traffic, people etc. seem to be gone. More and more people are staying here year round which really helps our economy. As long as we don't have any storms, paradise should continue unabated, and Florida will continue to grow. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.