Tourism Industry News

Greater Miami and the Beaches' International Visitors Spent Record $11 Billion in 2009

06/05/2010 10:53

Miami (PRNewswire/ - International visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches generated a record $11 billion in economic impact in 2009 fueled by an increase in the length of stay, increased shopping, and a generally weaker U.S. dollar throughout the year. This increase was driven primarily by growth of visitors from key South American markets including Venezuela (+5.5%), Brazil (+5.0%), Argentina (+3.5%) and Colombia (+2.0%). A record 2.5 million overnight visitors from South America visited Greater Miami in 2009, a +2.8% increase compared to 2008.

Total international overnight visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches reached more than 5.7 million people generating record spending of $11 billion, a +3.8% increase over 2008. While the total number of international overnight visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches declined by -1.8%, the increased spending is in contrast to overall international spending in the U.S., which decreased by -15.0% in 2009 along with a decline of -5.0% in visitation to the U.S. 


Total domestic overnight visitors reached more than 6.2 million and included a record 538,000 visitors from the western region of the United States despite a decrease of - 1.4%.

Overall, more than 11.9 million overnight visitors were welcomed to Greater Miami and the Beaches in 2009, a slight decrease of -1.6% compared to 2008.


Among the top 25 hotel markets in the U.S., Greater Miami and the Beaches ranked #4 for average daily room rate (ADR) and hotel room occupancy in 2009. This increase is particularly significant as Greater Miami and the Beaches also absorbed a +9.3% increase in hotel room inventory in 2009, the largest percent increase in the nation among the top 25 hotel markets. In addition, the destination was able to expand its market share by capturing an additional 5% of all hotel room nights generated by the top 25 domestic destinations.

In 2009, Greater Miami and The Beaches, with significant support from Miami-Dade County and other partners, hosted International Pow Wow, the U.S. Travel and Tourism industry's premier international marketplace. This prestigious trade show brought more than 5,000 delegates from every region of the U.S. and from more than 70 countries to the destination -- including 1,000 travel organizations, 1,500 international buyers, and more than 350 media.


International Pow Wow projected to generate more than $3.5 billion in future international travel and tourism business with approximately $400 million of that benefiting Greater Miami and the Beaches as host destination over the next three years.

Also in 2009, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau expanded the "Miami: Where Worlds Meet" campaign, a multi-million dollar global marketing campaign to promote Miami-Dade County as a premier destination for business, meetings and vacations. The campaign, in partnership with Miami-Dade County, American Airlines, The Beacon Council, the Port of Miami, Miami International Airport, Downtown Development Authority and Baptist Health South Florida, launched sales and marketing programs globally, including the key South American markets that have shown an increase.

"The timing could not have been better to have in place a major global marketing program such as Miami: Where Worlds Meet and host International Pow Wow in order to keep Miami top of mind among global business and travel decision makers as well as media," noted Greater Miami Convention &Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) President & CEO William D. Talbert, III, CDME. "We are grateful to our government partners, especially Miami-Dade County, for recognizing travel and tourism as Miami's number one industry and providing financial support for these two critical marketing efforts in 2009." added Talbert.

Visitor satisfaction levels also reached a record 98.1% in 2009, reflecting the industry's commitment to customer service and the Bureau's focus through its "Miami Begins With Me" program. The GMCVB's local customer service initiative has been further expanded with Miami International Airport's 'Miami Begins with MIA' program, which provides customer service training to all 35,000 airport employees. With 98.0% of Greater Miami's visitors arriving by air, Miami International Airport is the front door to the destination and plays a key role in the visitor experience. Also recognizing the importance of the cruise industry and Miami's role as the "Cruise Capitol of the World", the GMCVB program is now being expanded to the Port of Miami.

Greater Miami's travel and tourism industry continued to be a primary source of employment for the community in 2009, retaining 97.5% of jobs during the global economic recession.

"While 2009 was a challenging year worldwide, we have seen significant improvement in our numbers and led the country in occupancy during the first quarter of 2010," states Steven Haas, GMCVB Board Chair and long-standing local restaurateur. "Looking ahead, the GMCVB's summer marketing plans, including Miami Spa Month in July and Miami Spice Restaurant Month, running August through September, provide visitors with an important value offering and anticipate they will help stimulate arrivals as they did in 2009."

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an accredited not-for-profit sales and marketing organization whose mission is to attract visitors to Greater Miami and the Beaches for leisure, business and conventions. For a vacation guide visit our website at or call 1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only) or 305-447-7777. To reach the GMCVB offices dial 305-539-3000. Meeting planners may call 1-800-933-8448 (US/Canada only) or 305-539-3071 or visit 


CONTACT: Jennifer Diaz, Media Relations, +1-305-539-3084

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