LEE COUNTY FORECAST IS SUNNY
Things are jumping in Lee County. Impact charts show a rebounding economy, from an increase in collected “bed taxes”—―a 5 percent fee visitors pay on short-term accommodations—to the number of destination visits. Lee County recorded a 16.5 percent increase in tourist tax revenue in 2013-14, for example. It’s estimated that tourism directs $3 billion into Lee County’s annual economy, which equates to some 55,000 jobs, or nearly one-quarter of the active workforce.
Lee County has inched many miles from the Great Recession. Happy merchants and smiling tourists can partly thank the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, or VCB, for an uptick in the recovery. VCB marketers outreach to the world, target the Midwest and other hotspots from which visitors are likely to hail―—places such as Chicago and Minneapolis, for instance. The VCB, funded by bed tax revenue, also introduced the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest on Captiva, Fort Myers Beach and in downtown Fort Myers. “I’m proud of the VCB team, which continues to push the envelope with innovative ideas and tremendous effort,” says Tamara Pigott, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau executive director.
I’M PROUD OF THE VCB TEAM, WHICH CONTINUES TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE WITH INNOVATIVE IDEAS AND TREMENDOUS EFFORT.”
—TAMARA PIGOTT, LEE COUNTY VISITOR
& CONVENTION BUREAU EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR