Collier Co. tourism is on the rise

Collier Co. tourism is on the rise

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Apr 30, 2012

NAPLES- 2012 is proving to be a record year for tourism in Collier County and the majority of visitors are planning a trip back.

Phil McCabe's hotel, Inn on Fifth, is 100% filled right now so expanding was a no brainer.

The hotel saw record numbers last month and now Phil is hoping even more book a stay as crews build additional hotel suites in a 3 story building across the street.

"I'm very confident we will have a significant season next year in 2013. I think it will be a strong season," said McCabe.

2012 is already proving strong. A record 213,000 people visited Collier County in March. That is up nearly 5% from this time last year. Visitor spending also jumped with tourists spending nearly $156,000, a 12% increase from last year.

"Our March tourism statistics are up in all categories, visitation, spending, tourist development tax," said Jack Wert, Naples Marco Island Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau.

A majority of those tourists are coming from Florida's surrounding cities and the Midwest, but owner of the 5th Avenue Coffee Company is meeting plenty of international visitors.

"We're seeing people from the UK, Germany, Italy, France a good mix of people coming down to the area for the summer," said Frederik Overdijking, owner of 5th Avenue Coffee Company.

Travelers from Europe and Canada jumped more than 40% from this time last year.

"The great thing about international visitors is they normally stay longer and spend more money then our domestic counterparts," said Wert.

Convention and Visitors Bureau spent about $2 million dollars this year in advertising, that's actually less than last year. Advertisement is paid for through the tourist development tax.
Julie Salomone
Fox 4