|Published:||May 17, 2013 11:19 PM EDT|
|Updated:||May 17, 2013 11:20 PM EDT|
COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - New numbers show more tourists are adding more jobs to Florida's economy. So far this year, the state saw a record breaking tourist season and it's having a direct impact on the unemployment rate.
The first four months of 2013 saw record breaking tourism numbers with visitors up four percent over last year.
"People are feeling more confident in their jobs and they're spending money," says Jack Wert, Executive Director of the Naples, Marco Island and Evergaldes Convention and Visitors Bureau.
That's the case for Gregory Haagen and his wife. The Jacksonville couple picked La Playa in North Naples to celebrate their anniversary.
"The good lord has blessed us with good jobs, stability, so we decided to come here this year," says Haagen.
More people spending more money also translates directly into the need for more jobs heading into next season. Florida tourism officials say every 85 visitors to Florida creates one job, but in Collier County the numbers are even better.
"Our statistics indicate that for every 45 visitors we are supporting 1 tourism industry job so as you grow thousands of new visitors you're going to have more opportunities for people to be employed," says Wert.
Last year, Collier County created 1,700 jobs, all directly related to the hospitality and tourism industry. Heading into the season, La Playa hired 30 additional people.
Ron Vuy says, "we had a pretty good premonition that it was going to be a great season. When people come to naples we've got to give them superior, consistent service."
Tourism leaders say there will be some layoffs, but we won't see nearly as many as in the past because businesses and international visitors continue to travel over the summer.
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