man and woman dining out

The $10.6 billion injected into the Broward economy by the destination’s 13.4 million tourists last year goes to the direct benefit of all local residents – the friends, family and neighbors of all of us who make Broward County one of the most sought-after places to visit in Florida.

Our tourism success is largely Floridians helping Floridians, with 30 percent of all domestic visitors coming from Florida, mostly Tampa, the tri-county market of Orlando, and Broward's backyard market. The rest come from New York, 11 percent; New Jersey and Georgia, 6 percent each; Pennsylvania, 5 percent; Connecticut 4 percent; Illinois, California, Virginia and Colorado, 3 percent each; and other states, 24 percent.

Internationally, most visitors come from Canada, 8 percent; Latin America, 6 percent; Europe, 3 percent; Scandinavia, and United Kingdom, 2 percent; and other foreign travelers, 23 percent.

So as we say “thank you” to all of those hard-working valets, housekeepers, wait staff, ushers and taxi drivers who offer SUNsational Service™ daily to help ensure visitors keep coming to Broward County and contribute to our economic vitality, we recognize the top 10 reasons why tourism is good for everyone and why we all wish our visitors a very warm HELLO SUNNY welcome!

  1. Economic Impact: Our 13.4 million annual visitors spend an average $29.2 million per day, $1.2 million per hour, or $20,300 per minute. Thanks to increased tourism, the County achieved a record 51 consecutive months of growth in hotel occupancy rates.
  2. Hospitality Industry Jobs: For every 85 visitors, one local job is supported. Tourists to Broward County in 2013 invested enough money to support more than 157,000 local hospitality-related jobs.
  3. Investment: With more visitors and more jobs comes more investment. State-of-the-art Port Everglades already attracts the best cruise ships in the world, and will continue to drive visitations, spending $54 million to improve four major cruise terminals.
  4. International Status: The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), is investing in a $2 billion terminal renovation and runway expansion program to allow capacity for new airlines and services.
  5. Continued Growth: FLL is home to legacy carriers – Delta, American, Southwest, Continental and United, and JetBlue, one of the most popular airlines in the country. JetBlue’s goal is to have 100 flights a day into Fort Lauderdale from all over the United States. And, we’ve just welcomed Copa, Latin America’s largest airline and Norwegian Airlines.
  6. New Development: New hotel development, includes a new, $147 million, 349-room, Margaritaville Resort, a Jimmy Buffet-themed project stretching five acres along Hollywood’s famed Broadwalk and the Intracoastal Waterway. The Costa Hollywood, a $180 million, six-story, 304-room condo-hotel is expected to open late 2014. Hilton Worldwide, meanwhile, will open Conrad Fort Lauderdale Resort and Residences in 2015 with $34 million in enhancements and upgrades to the Trump International Hotel and Tower on Fort Lauderdale beach. The Hampton Inn & Suites in Coconut Creek is projected to open this May and Residence Inn Fort Lauderdale Airport & Cruise Port in Dania Beach is projected to open in September. Recent renovations include the Bonaventure Resort & Spa in Weston.
  7. World-Class Entertainment: Names like Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Cher, Billy Joel, Sting and Jamie Foxx were once the sole entertainment currency of big cities like New York and Los Angeles. But these and more world-class acts can be seen at the BB&T Center and Hard Rock Live, and at major music festivals like Jazz in the Gardens, Tortuga Music Festival and Lauderdale Live.
  8. Artistic Renaissance: As the destination’s visitors grow, so does its thirst for arts and culture – leading to a renaissance of ways to appreciate Broward's artistic side. F.A.T Village - the Flagler Arts & Technology Village – is a new neighborhood dedicated to artist's studios, galleries, live theater, and host of one of-a-kind events for the benefit of tourists and residents alike.
  9. Refined Dining: More sophisticated tastes coming into the destination attract more sophisticated restaurants and dining experiences, with new establishments like Sun Surf Sand (S3), Lobster Bar Sea Grille, Beauty and The Feast, Funky Buddha Brewery, Zinburger, The Brass Tap, Pipalato and Burger 21. “Fork Lauderdale” has been acknowledged by Fodor’s as offering “some of the finest, most varied dining of any U.S. city its size.”
  10. Designer Shopping: Whether hunting for deals in air conditioned comfort or strolling open-air shopping districts, one thing is for certain—bargain hunters need a bigger suitcase when shopping in Broward County with upscale boutiques and art galleries along “style mile” Las Olas Boulevard, or at the world’s largest outlet mall with high-end designer outlets, Sawgrass Mills.
Tourism – it’s all in the numbers and it all adds up to make Broward County a great place to visit, work, live and play.