In honor of their excellence and dedication to the industry during a record-setting year for tourism – with a reported $155.8 million paid in overnight lodging sales in Alachua County, Visit Gainesville, Alachua County presented special recognition plaques to industry workforce members nominated by their peers at the December 7, 2022 meeting of the Alachua County Hospitality Council held at the UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Office in Newberry.
Tourism supported over $211 million in wages and salaries for local jobs in 2021*, and the leisure and hospitality sector supports 16,000 local jobs, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The front line employees within this employment category, by virtue of their daily work, are destination ambassadors who directly influence how visitors experience their time in the County. *According to a Downs and St. Germaine Alachua County Economic Impact report.
“In the last year, Alachua County attracted more visitors and visitor spending than ever before. This visitor spending generated record-setting tourism impacts to our businesses, as well as industry jobs. Today we are thrilled to recognize the excellence of the hospitality workforce and their contributions to the vitality of our destination,” said Jessica Hurov, Tourism Development Manager for Visit Gainesville, Alachua County. “We wanted to express our appreciation to the hospitality workers in our community for their hard work and dedication.” Paid overnight lodging revenue grew from the prior best year of $110 million in 2019 to over $155 million in 2022 – an increase of $45 million, and workforce is critical to the hospitality industry’s ability to create a top-notch guest experience to generate return visits, a positive brand impression of the destination, and support our visitors while they are within the destination.