MIAMI — Miami is hotter than ever, with a record-breaking number of overnight visitors reported in 2015.
According to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB), the city experienced a 6.4% increase in overnight visitors last year, with one million more visitors for a total of 15.5 million. A record 8 million visitors from domestic markets and 7.5 million international visitors were also reported.
New York was the destination’s first US$2 billion market, reaching a record economic impact of $2.3 billion, rivaled by the destination’s billion-dollar markets of Brazil and Colombia. The total economic impact of overnight visitors to Greater Miami and The Beaches reached a record $24.4 billion last year.
GMCVB President & CEO William D. Talbert said that “more visitors are staying longer and fuelling record-breaking economic impact numbers, thanks to GMCVB efforts,” and that the European market grew by 5.9% while the Latin American market experienced a 3% boost despite the strength of the dollar against the euro and Latin American currencies.
Talbert also noted that of the one million new visitors into Miami, nearly half were first-time visitors, a fact that can be attributed to “the GMCVB’s aggressive international marketing programs and our collaboration with Miami International Airport to attract more global carriers and expand air-service into Miami and The Beaches.”
The vast majority of visitors – 96% – arrived by air. Among the international visitors, a 7.2% increase came from emerging markets (Asia, the Middle East and Australia).
The destination’s hotels also saw growth, with an average daily rate (ADR) of $195.75, up 5.9% over the previous year. A total of 14 new hotels opened in 2015, and despite the increase in inventory, the destination secured a strong record occupancy of 78.1%.
With an expected increase in airport arrivals and new hotels set to open in the coming months, combined with the completion of the $615 million expansion to the Miami Beach Convention Center and potentially adjacent headquarter hotel, the GMCVB anticipates continued economic growth to follow.
Much of Miami’s success can be attributed to enhancements made to its ‘Miami Begins with Me’ customer service marketing and training program. Launched in 2009, the initiative has trained more than 50,000 employees of major community businesses and organizations. Nearly 98% of visitors are extremely or very satisfied with their visit, and 92% of total visitors are definitely or very likely to return to Miami.
For more information go to MiamiandBeaches.com.