Laura Layden | Naples Daily News May 28, 2021
Tourism is roaring back in Naples.
The latest visitor statistics show it.
The Naples area — or Collier County — saw an “amazing April,” with every metric used to track tourism up from a year ago, by a startling percentage.
That’s according to Anne Wittine, the director of data analysis for Research Data Services, the county’s tourism consultant.
She shared the good news with the county’s Tourist Development Council on Monday.
“What a difference a year makes,” Wittine said before drilling down into the telling numbers in a monthly report for April.
The report — based on overnight stays in paid lodging — points to a strong recovery from the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism industry last year.
To that, Collier County Commissioner Andy Solis, chairman of the Tourist Development Council, said simply: “It’s good to hear.”
Here’s a look at some of the April numbers, compared to the same month last year, when the coronavirus crisis raged:
- Visitors: 159,900, +1,290%
- Room nights: 275,700, +917%
- Economic impact: $282 million, +1,949%
- Hotel occupancy: 82.8%, +910%
While those numbers might seem rather remarkable, so are similar comparisons to two years ago, long before the coronavirus arose.
Comparisons to April 2019 show:
- A 9% increase in visitors
- A 24% increase in room nights
- A 20% increase in economic impact
- A 2% increase in occupancy
Collier County saw record tourism in 2019, so any increase from that year is viewed as even more impressive, Wittine said.
Similar data is not available for Lee County, as its statistics are reported quarterly, not monthly.
Beating the competition
In Collier, April might have been a bit unusual, drawing visitors here who may have wanted to come sooner, but waited to get vaccinated — or just to feel more comfortable with traveling, Wittine said.
“So this isn’t quite a normal pattern, but it’s extremely, extremely good news,” she said.
A separate report by tourism research firm STR shows the Naples area outperforming much of its competition in Florida in April, with higher occupancy and average daily rates than most, including Fort Myers, or Lee County.
Wittine described Collier County’s average daily rate for last month as “outstanding.” It rose to $361.64, up 108% from 2020 and 13% from 2019.
While May statistics won’t be out for another month in Collier, Wittine expects them to hold strong based on what she’s heard from area hoteliers through surveys. The long Memorial Day weekend will help, as business looks solid, she said.
Tourism making major comeback in Naples and Collier County
Published inLocal Interest