FORT LAUDERDALE -- In 1999, Greater Fort Lauderdale, for the ninth
year in a row, reported a record number of visitors.
More than 6.74 million people visited the area in 1999, an
increase of 4.9% compared with 1998.
Also last year, the number of passengers using Fort
Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport increased by 12%. In fact, the New
York-Fort Lauderdale route was the third most heavily traveled in
the country last winter. During 1999, more than 2 million people
flew between the two cities.
The area's visitors, for the sixth consecutive year, set a
record for spending on transportation, hotels, restaurants,
attractions and recreation.
Expenditures by tourists in Greater Fort Lauderdale in 1999
topped $3.85 billion, an increase of 6.9%, generating tourism tax
collections of more than $15 million (up by 7.8% vs. 1998).
Average daily room rates increased by 2.6% to a record $84.53.
Even with the addition of 996 new hotel rooms since 1998, hotel
occupancy increased by 2.25 percentage points to an average annual
level of 69.7%, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors
Bureau bureau officials noted.
"Not only are we thrilled with the record-breaking numbers for
1999, but the upward trend is continuing into 2000 with new air
service, and Broward County's bed tax collections are up more than
10% for the first quarter [of 2000]," said Nicki Grossman, bureau
In March of this year, according to Smith Travel Research in
Hendersonville, N.C., hotel occupancy averaged 82.5% vs. 81.9% in
1999. The average daily room rates, respectively, were $105.35 and
February's 88.2% hotel occupancy almost broke even with the
month's record in 1999 (88.3%) when Super Bowl fans bolstered early
The increases stem from the the city's efforts, begun 15 years
ago, to shed its spring break destination image, bureau officials
The city succeeded in transforming itself into a cosmopolitan,
multifaceted year-round destination with family recreation options,
top-quality diving, boating, fishing and golf, they added.
The area's popularity, Grossman said, also can be attributed to
its 23 miles of beaches that earn top ratings from beach quality
Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau
Phone: (800) 22-SUNNY