Tourism numbers down in Collier County for the first time in 2 years

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Tourism is down in Collier County for the first time in two years. Now, local leaders are paying attention to the exchange rate of the euro to the dollar.

European travelers make up 20 percent of Collier County’s tourism market. But, Florida isn’t as much of a bargain for these visitors as it once was.

“We’ve seen a decline in the exchange rate between the euro and the U.S. dollar,” said Collier County Tourism Director, Jack Wert.

That decline may have contributed to the first dip in tourism for Collier County in the past two years. In May, the county saw a 3.2 percent decrease in visitation from last year. Wert tells WINK News, the numbers are not cause for alarm, yet.

“Not sure that one month really is a trend,” said Wert.

But, the newly released numbers combined with the exchange rate does have the area on alert. Restaurant owners, hotel managers, even real estate professionals that depend on tourism to bring in more business are watching.

“We’re watching it,” said Nancy MacDonald, managing broker for Coldwell Banker office on 5th Avenue South. “Are we concerned about it? I’m not going to say concerned, but I would choose the word aware more.”

Aware, that losing these visitors could become a bigger problem in the future.

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