Miami-Dade County has a population of 2.6 million people, but there are usually a lot more people here than that in town. In fact, 14.6 million visitors stayed in Miami in 2014, a new record according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. And all those tourists bring money with them as well. The study estimated that they pumped $23.8 billion into our economy (that averages out to $1,600 per visitor by the way).
That's up from the 14.2 million visitors in 2013 and the $22.8 billion they spent.
But who are all these tourists, where are they staying and what are they spending that money on? Well here are highlights from Visitor Bureau's finding. The report is based on over 5,000 interviews with tourists at both the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale airports.
- The amount of foreign visitors and American visitor was almost split down the middle: International visitors accounted for 49.9 percent total, domestic visitors made up 50.1 percent.
- The stereotype is true. New York City was the biggest single source of visitors. 1.9 million New Yorkers visited last year. Compare that to second place Chicago which only provided less than half a million.
- Foreigners spend more. In fact, 70 percent of tourism spending is attributed to foreigners.
- Brazil meanwhile accounted for 732,884 visitors, the most of any single country. Canada, Colombia, Argentina and Germany rounded out the top 5.
- 52.5 percent of visitors traveled with one companion and one companion only, so you know what that means.
- The average stay was 5.86 nights, during which spending averaged out to $279.48 a day.
- Pleasure, rather than business, was the main purpose of these trips, obviously. 75.9 percent of visitors came for "leisure" purposes. That doesn't include people who were merely in town to get on a cruise ship, but those did end up making up 7.2 percent of visitors.
- 89.3 percent of all visitors surveyed said that they'd definitely or would be likely to return.
And here's where visitors actually stayed:
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- Miami Beach (47.8%)
- Downtown Miami (19.2%)
- Airport Area (12.8%)
- North Dade/Sunny Isles Beach (8.8%) ???? South Miami-Dade (3.9%)
- Coral Gables (3.9%)
- Doral (3.3%)
- Key Biscayne (1.5%)
- Coconut Grove (1.5% ... ouch).