Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Statistics Confirm Tourism Slowdown

Statistics released by the Key West Chamber of Commerce confirm what many have been saying: Key West tourism is down.

Here are some highlights of the data:
  • Over 20,000 less cruise ship passengers arrived in Key West in January 2007 compared to January 2006 - a 21.4% decline

  • Over 12,000 less cruise ship passengers arrived in Key West in February 2007 compared to February 2006, a 14.6% decline

  • Cruise ship port calls declined 18% for January 2007 and 13.6% for February 2007

  • Number of tourists arriving by plane declined 8.1% for January 2007 and 9.2% for February 2007 (a total decline of 5000 fly-in tourists for the two months)

  • Bed tax "3rd penny" collections were down 5.6% (approximately $20,000), the first decline in 5 years
The past few years tourism has faced many new challenges including the hotel to condo conversions, hundreds of hotel rooms offline, doubling of room rates, lack of affordable housing for workers, and a city leadership that looks mostly pleased that tourism is taking a backseat to luxury development.
The tourism industry here should recognize that their businesses (and much of the island economy) are in jeopardy.
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Anonymous said...

As a former Hospitality GM I can certainly understand why tourism is down. Lets start with Duval street. It is losing its uniqueness! One t-shirt shop after another with the same offensive t-shirts displayed in the windows. Dirty storefronts, expensive hotel rooms. Beaches that are covered with seaweed and trash. Water that is not safe to swim in. Homeless bums taking up all of the tables, restrooms, etc. Key West can no longer simply rely on its past. Tourism is a highly competitive market and Key West is rapidly losing its place and appeal. I hope the city gets the message before it is too late.

Scott said...

So, what is the solution? Or is there one?