Kissimmee Highlights $6B Tourism Industry, Thanks Visitors

Kerry Sharpe, Open Jaw

To highlight the $6 billion economic impact of the Osceola County tourism industry in 2017, Experience Kissimmee is thanking tourists during its annual ‘Value of Tourism’ campaign.

“A vacation to Kissimmee means an endless supply of sunshine and incredible experiences for visitors. But it also means tangible benefits to Osceola County residents,” said Experience Kissimmee president and CEO, DT Minich. “With 8.6 million overnight visitors contributing to the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) in 2017, the tourism industry enhances the lives of thousands of Osceola County residents, every day. So, we’re excited to share this information with the community while showing appreciation for our valuable visitors.”

Last year, Osceola County’s travel and tourism industry saw visitor spending reach $3.8 billion, provided 45,000 jobs ranging from entry-level to high-level management positions, and saved each household $900 a year in taxes.

“Spending by tourists and the travel industry’s continued growth directly benefits the local community,” said Minich. “The taxes collected on every Twistee Treat sold, hotel room booked, kayak rented, and dollar spent in Osceola County, saves every residence annually enough money to visit Walt Disney World Resort 14 times or rent a vacation home for four staycation weekends.”

In 2017, the county collected a record $51 million in TDT, surpassing $50 million for the first time. These funds help support community events, sporting facilities, libraries, and various local organizations.

Kerry Sharpe

Kerry Sharpe Columnist

Having worked in travel for the last 16 years, Kerry has experience covering the industry as media, as well as being under its lens when she worked for Thomas Cook, TravelBrands and itravel2000. A new mom, Kerry recently returned to the workforce and when she’s not chasing after her daughter, you’ll see her out and about covering industry events alongside her new BFF Tina the Travel Agent.

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