Tourism down in Collier County

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

We aren’t seeing as many visitors as we once did in one of the more popular tourist areas of our region.

Collier County saw a drop in overall visitations last month.

The recent numbers have people asking how busy it will be when tourist season arrives in Collier County.

The Collier Tourist Development Council met Monday morning and word was that there was a dip in July, but that August, surprisingly, is trending better than normal.

Local business owners said this summer hasn’t been as slow as they had expected, so they aren’t overly worried about the season.

“Within the eight years we’ve owned the restaurant, we’ve had some very, very slow summers, and again, you know, that’s a fear of area that thrives on tourism,” said Emily Monty, owner of Spanky’s Speakeasy.

Tourism, across the state, is on track to beat last year’s numbers. We saw 33 million visitors in the second quarter this year.

Monty and her husband own Spanky’s Speakeasy on Airport Pulling Road.

“This has been our biggest and best summer yet,” Monty said. “Numbers have been up, and it’s been a combination. I think we have a lot more locals here. A lot more people have moved to the area, but you can tell a lot of people have been traveling from really around the world.”

The Collier Tourist Development Council noted a dip in July but said August is trending better than normal.

Ulli Burhardt owns Back of the Bay in downtown Naples.

They’ve also seen business as usual this summer and are looking forward to the season.

“We have a lot of repeat customers that know us for 30 years already, our store,” said Burhardt, “so they always come check out what we have. We have a lot of collections, different ones. Everybody finds something. So far, we can’t complain. We are really busy.”

Both business owners said they’re thankful to their regulars who help them stay busy in slower times of the year.

Another thing we’ve seen this summer is a lot of domestic visitors traveling abroad but not as many coming back.

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