Lee County’s tourism industry wins big

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A big win for Lee County! The Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) officially released the tourism numbers and they’re breaking records.

“A lot of people are finding out about us, so that is good news!” said Deputy Director of the VCB Pamela Johnson.

It’s official, Southwest Florida is breaking records when it comes to tourism. The VCB announced, since last January, the bed tax numbers are up almost 37 percent.

“We are thrilled of course with the numbers this morning,” said Johnson.

Numbers show Lee County is ahead when it comes to an increase in visitors, tourism job growth, domestic and overseas visitors and a large increase in visitors from Canada.

“The tourism industry brings jobs to the destination and just overall improves the quality of life for everyone, so we are excited,” said Johnson.

The VCB tells WINK News, Canadian tourism is up 26 percent and overseas tourism, up more than 16 percent.

“This has been a place people love to come and relax and vacation, live here, of course, and return here,” Johnson told WINK News.

Also, compared to other counties in Florida, Lee County’s hotels were more full than any other county with over 80 percent occupancy, compared to 72 percent occupancy the year before.

Lee County even beat out the State of Florida, which only had about 72 percent occupancy.

“A lot of people are finding out about us and that is wonderful news.”

The VCB also says an increase in tourism means more jobs have come to the area.

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