A look inside the Travel & Tourism Industry with Visit Pensacola Board Chair Jason Nicholson

JasonDid you know the Board of Directors and Committees of Visit Pensacola are comprised of volunteers who have chosen to extend their workdays to help guide the growth and success of the Hospitality Industry in Escambia County? That’s right, the Board of Directors and Committees receive no compensation for their hard work and sacrifice aside from the satisfaction of helping improve the County’s Tourism Economy. Further, some of our Directors and Committee Members work in professions that are only loosely and indirectly related to Tourism. However, they all share one key trait; they recognize the value that our strong Hospitality Industry provides to our collective quality of life and are nonetheless committed to its growth and success.

On behalf of the Hospitality Industry of Escambia County and Visit Pensacola, Thank You. Your sacrifice is recognized, appreciated and invaluable.

Did you also know in 2016:

  • The Hospitality and Leisure Industry employed over 22,000 individuals? That equates to over 17% of all those employed in Escambia County. Plus, those jobs generated over $380,000,000 in payroll. 
  • Our industry hosted over 2,000,000 guests who spent more than $787,000,000 locally. Most exciting is if visitor spend sustains at a 5% growth rate, Escambia County will become a $1,000,000,000 (one billion) Hospitality Economy by 2021!
  • $72,474,888 or 46% of all ad valorem taxes (property taxes) paid in Escambia County are paid by accommodation providers. i.e., hotels, condominiums, bed & breakfasts or home rental.
  • $94,338,996 or 41% of all taxes are collected by the hospitality-related businesses.
  • For every $1 invested in Visit Pensacola, the Hospitality Industry returns $3 in taxes.

There’s no doubt Hospitality makes a huge, positive impact on the quality of life within our community. But did you know that our local hospitality professionals do so much more, like:

  • The Holiday Inn Resort on Pensacola Beach teaches building maintenance and engineering skills to incarcerated, non-violent, young offenders between the ages of 13-18. This program has successfully helped reduce recidivism among those individuals from the State of Florida’s average of over 70% recidivism to less than 20%. This award-winning program named, High School/ High Tech and headed by Mr. Ronnie Rivera, now serves as the model of Statewide corporate/community partnership to extend opportunities to those whom might not have
  • Innisfree Hotels works directly with the Dixon School of the Arts to extend quality education to scholars, grades K-8. In fact, the teammates of Innisfree collected sponsorship, assembled and delivered to each and every scholar a brand-new bike for Christmas!

There are so many examples of deep-rooted, sincere hospitality in our community that need to be shared. Not only key economic data but also real, tangible kindness perpetuated every day by your tourism professionals. To those that share your love with others without expectation of repayment, please know that today, you are recognized. And, I hope that you will be recognized often and publicly as we continue to celebrate our success in Hospitality. It is your kindness that makes Pensacola an exceptional place to live and visit!