St. Petersburg and its surrounding beaches are the most visited destination on the U.S. Gulf Coast, drawing more than 15 million annual visitors. As one of the most popular destinations in Florida, tourists enjoy 35 miles of some of the best beaches in America, St. Petersburg’s rich arts and cultural climate, close proximity to the world’s best theme parks, and a year-round outdoor climate with 361 days a year of sunshine. Fort De Soto, minutes from St. Petersburg, is frequently voted one of America’s Best Beaches.
The total number of visitors to Pinellas County is steadily increasing. From 2014 to 2015, the number of visitors increased by nearly 400,000. The occupancy rates of hotels, motels, condos, and campgrounds is also steadily increasing and is up 3% from 2014 to 2015.
St. Petersburg offers 77 hotel/motel properties with over 4,500 rooms, the second most in the county after Clearwater.
In 2015, visitors spent $4.65 billion in Pinellas County, generating a total economic impact of $9.25 billion. Over the past 5 years, visitors have contributed over $20 billion to the local economy.
About our visitors:
- 70% originate from the U.S. with top feeder markets including the Northeastern metros, Chicago and the Midwest, and Florida and the Southeast.
- 19% from Europe.
- 15 million visitors, including 6.2 million overnight visitors in 2015 fueling a record-breaking total of $38.8 million in bed tax collections.
The tourism industry contributes:
- $9.25 billion annual spending impact to the local economy
- 94,000 county jobs – tourism is the area’s #1 employer
- A growing meeting and conference trade, with 19 percent of visitors
Twice a year, the city joins with the Chamber, Downtown Business Association, and Pinellas CVB to host Hospitality Connects. This networking event brings together hospitality industry professionals to learn about trends impacting local tourism, helping promote strong ambassadors of St. Petersburg for our visitors.