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Tampa Bay tourism showcased last weekend

  • Legend has it that the waters off the west coast of Florida were plagued by the infamous pirate, Jose Gaspar, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since 1904, an incredible – week long festival has taken over both Tampa land and sea as citizen pirates “invade” the city, bringing cannon blasts and pirate ships to the heart of downtown. This festival is a testament to how vital the tourism industry is to the Tampa area – a top ten industry that represents nearly 35,000 jobs.

  • It is estimated that 2016 saw 3.8 billion dollars of spending by 22.6 million visitors to Hillsborough County alone. These visitors spend money on things like food and beverages (27%), recreation (25%) and lodging (20%) – creating jobs, boosting the cities economy, and contributing to local tax revenue. Gasparilla sure plays its part, as 250,000 – 300,000 people spend the weekend enjoying the weather, activities, and tradition of a festival that contributes an estimated $23 million to the local Tampa economy each year.​

Source: JLL Research, Tourism Economics

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