Pensacola, FL – On Wednesday, Visit Pensacola welcomed members of the community and tourism industry professionals to its Annual Meeting. Marking the beginning of a new fiscal year, Visit Pensacola and company thanked the outgoing FY 2022 board of directors, voted, and welcomed in the FY 2023 board of directors, and celebrated industry successes.
“We’ve had one, full year to market and promote Pensacola as The Way to Beach™ and the proof is in the numbers. Escambia County had a record-breaking year garnering $21,828,492 in tourism development tax revenue, a 23.5% increase over last year,” President and CEO Darien Schaefer said. “This is all thanks to the tenacity of our many community partners, stakeholders, and industry professionals sharing the story of why Pensacola is The Way to Beach™.
Adding to the 2022 fiscal year industry successes, Schaefer highlighted a detailed list of Visit Pensacola’s leading accomplishments:
Fiscal Year 2022 By the Numbers
$21,828,492 in tourism tax development collections, a 23.5% increase over FY 21
$1,290,683,300 in direct visitor spending, a 2.9% increase over FY 21
The average daily rate grew to $160.54, a 3.5% increase over FY 21
The Visit Pensacola team shared the Pensacola story in front of over 30 markets
Totaled over 204 million in digital exposure
Over $2.4 billion in earned media
Garnered 77 new community partners, retained 219 partners, and completed over 400 partner visits
Over 1.7 million people used visitpensacola.com
Gained over 17,000 new social media followers
Generated over $64 million in group sales bookings
Continuing the momentum, incoming Board Chair Brent Lane remarked on his theme for the year
“Pensacola is an incredible destination, made better by those that live here. We are a community that is passionate about where we live,” Board Chair Brent Lane said. “I am excited for what this year will bring as the board chair, and what Visit Pensacola will do to bring first time visitors and return guests to our community through new opportunities for exposure and advocacy.”
Serving with Board Chair Brent Lane for the 2023 fiscal year will be:
Chair: Brent Lane, Cat Country 98.7 / ADX Communications Vice-Chair/At-Large: Rachael Gillette, Studer Community Institute Treasurer/ Arts/Culture/History: Sid Williams-Heath, Pensacola Little Theatre | The Clark Family Cultural Center Secretary/ Dining/Entertainment: Warren Sonnen, O’Riley’s Irish Pub Past Chair/At-Large: Deandra Holcomb, Frisky Mermaid Dolphin Tours & Boat Rentals Lodging/Pensacola Beach: Terry Branch, Hilton Pensacola Beach Lodging/Mainland West: Darpan “Dae” Patel, Rameshwar Hospitality, Pine Forest Hospitality Lodging/Perdido Key: Tim Carn, Southern Vacation Rentals Lodging/Downtown/Airport: Amanda Mills, Hilton Garden Inn Pensacola Airport Sports/Recreation: Greg Harris, Pensacola Ice Flyers At Large: Tia Robbins, Taste of Pensacola
Visit Pensacola would like to extend a special note of gratitude to its outgoing board members.
Gabe DiCianni, Innisfree Hotels – Treasurer Cindy McCalip, Naval Aviation Museum Foundation At-Large Jatin Bhakta, North Florida Hotels – Lodging Mainland West
For more information on tourism in the Pensacola Bay Area or to get involved, click here.