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Economic Impact

In addition to being Florida’s No. 1 industry, tourism is a pillar of economic growth in Alachua County.

Tourism Impact Metrics for Alachua County

  • 2.1 million visitors stayed overnight
  • 1.26 million rooms sold
  • Average length of stay is 2-3 nights

Alachua County showed a 7.1% Year-Over-Year Growth in Visitor Spending from 2016 to 2017.

Direct Visitor Spending by Category

  • Lodging: $177.7 million
  • Ground Transportation: $290.9 million
  • Food & Beverage: $170.9 million
  • Shopping: $80.6 million
  • Entertainment & Recreation: $43.2 million

Visitor spending supports 11,538 jobs, providing $269.7 million in wages and $942.8 million in total business spending.

Research provided by Visit Florida Economic Impact of Tourism 2017


Bed Tax Collections and Impact

The Tourist Development Tax (TDT), or bed tax, strengthens our local economy by supporting Alachua County’s tourism industry. Anyone who offers accommodations for short term rental (six months or less) is required to collect and remit Tourist Development Tax, which is 5% of total taxable rental receipts. TDT is an add-on tax and is collected at the time accommodation charges are collected.

In Alachua County, TDT collections have increased by 45% since 2013, and in 2018 hit a record-setting $5.3 million – indicating a robust growth in the tourism lodging sector.

Visitors often ask, “what’s good to do around here?” during their stay. We never run out of exciting ways to answer that question. In fact, Alachua County leverages the bed tax to market and promote our destination by supporting “what’s good” — our nature, culture, arts, and sports organizations. In turn, this creates exceptional venues, programs and recreational opportunities for visitors and residents alike.

What’s Good. Investing In Our Community

Alachua County is proud to be the wellspring of the University of Florida Gator Nation and home to so much more. Invest the time to go birding on our more than 100 miles of trails, to paddle the Santa Fe, to make a splash in the springs, to bike the Hawthorne Trail, to take in a world-class show at one of our many theaters, to visit our parks and museums, to go antiquing in Micanopy, or to experience the area’s rich musical heritage kept alive and thriving with live local music on dozens of stages.

With the restaurant scene gaining national attention and new pints on tap at our local breweries, dozens of annual festivals and events, and the friendliest people in Florida, there is always more to explore right here at home.

Take the time to enjoy all that our community has to offer, and you too can experience the positive benefits of travel, discover new favorite places, create enduring memories and find opportunities to share what’s good with our visitors.


For more information, please email info@visitgainesville.com or call 352-374-5260.

Figures are based on spending by visitors during 2017, including domestic out-of-state visitors, international visitors, and Florida residents who traveled at least 50 miles from home to the destination. They also include both day and overnight trips. Indirect impacts are impacts on non-tourism businesses which provide supplies to tourism businesses (e.g. restaurant suppliers). Induced impacts are impacts on non-tourism businesses due to spending of wages by employees of tourism businesses (e.g. the money spent by a tourism business employee at a grocery store). Sources: Rockport Analytics, Bureau of Economic Analysis; via Visit Florida.