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Visitors To Manatee County Up 3 Percent Since January


MANATEE-- Visitors to Manatee County are up 3 percent since January, according to the county's research and data services tourism report presented at Monday's Tourist Development Council meeting at the Civic Center. More than 370,000 visitors have traveled to Manatee County since the beginning of the year through September, raising the economic impact 2 percent over last year to $403 million.

Walter Klages (Research and Data Services, Inc.) also reported that visitors from southeastern states to Manatee County increased 10.6 percent and the midwest was up 6.2 percent. European visitors were down 10 percent, but said, "the numbers are improving". Mr. Klages explained, "as the U.S. dollar declines in value in Europe, it actually benefits the travel and tourism industry here since it becomes more economical for Europeans to travel to the United States."

Occupancy rates in hotels and motels are up 4.1 percent between July and September, but the area is still being effected by the oil spill. "The perception problem is real", Mr. Klages said.

Total economic impact is up 5.5 percent during the last quarter to $76 million, as approximately 104,000 visitors came to Manatee County.

Tampa Airport continues to deliver the highest percentage of passengers to Manatee County at 56.4%. Orlando is at 22.9% and Sarasota/Bradenton Airport is third at 14.6%.


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