DATE: March 6, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Taylor, Media Relations Director
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Despite the challenges facing the national economy, Greater Fort Lauderdale's tourism industry is surging forward fueled by 11.1 million visitors from around the world spending $9.06 billion and continuing a 26-month growth rate to outdistance all other areas of Florida in occupancy and average daily rate.
The destination ended 2011 with a 1.1 million increase in visitors, the highest December and January hotel occupancy in the state. Greater Fort Lauderdale also saw an 8 percent increase international growth, with a 50 percent increase from Brazil, 10 percent by Canada and 4 percent out of Europe.
The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is experiencing positive trending following a 4 percent increase in passengers for year-end 2011. Port Everglades is also sharing in the success as it gets ready to break its own 55,000 one-day passenger record on March 17.
"It's very gratifying that we are leading the state and much of the U.S. in critical tourism gains," said Nicki E. Grossman, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau's president. "We had a strong 2011 and business hasn't slowed down, especially in key growth areas such as leisure, international, meetings and corporate groups and film projects."
According to Grossman, the CVB's success is tied to innovative marketing, such as the "Defrost Your Swimsuit" campaign recently conducted in Toronto, New York and London and an ongoing recognition of the destination's continued transformation with new hotels, attractions, dining, arts and culture, shopping appeal. "We've changed, and the traveling public gets it and wants what we have. The proof is in the numbers."
For more information about Greater Fort Lauderdale, visit www.sunny.org.