Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council FY23 Annual Report

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FY23 Annual Report

HENRY MORRISON FLAGLER MUSEUM PALM BEA CH Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council

Tourism has always been a vital component of our economy, attracting visitors from far and wide to experience the rich culture, breathtaking views, and unique events in our county. It has been an immense pleasure to witness the steady growth of our tourism industry over the years, and I firmly believe that now is the time to seize the opportunities ahead.

In recent times, we have faced unprecedented challenges due to the global pandemic. The tourism industry, like many others, was significantly affected. However, I am pleased to share that we have made a full recovery. As travel restrictions eased and vaccinations became more available there is a renewed sense of enthusiasm amongst travelers to explore new destinations and make up for lost time.

The resurgence, collaboration and innovation amongst our agencies was crucial. By working together with industry partners, we were able to foster an environment that encourages sustainable growth and development in Palm Beach County which generated $10.3 billion in economic impact. We aim to bolster our marketing efforts by adopting digital technologies and leveraging social media platforms. We will continue collaborating to showcase Palm Beach County’s unique attractions and hidden gems.

I am excited about the future of tourism in Palm Beach County with the collective efforts of all stakeholders. I am confident that we can create an environment that not only attracts visitors but also enriches the lives of our residents while preserving our natural and cultural heritage for generations to come.

Thank you,

Board of Directors and Staff

Board of County Commissioners

• Mayor Maria Sachs

• Vice Mayor Maria G Marino

• Commissioner Gregg K. Weiss

• Commissioner Mack Bernard

• Commissioner Marci Woodward

• Commissioner Sarah Baxter

• Commissioner Michael Barnett

• County Administrator Verdenia C. Baker

Tourist Development Council Board of Directors

• Mayor Maria Sachs

• Vice Chair James Bronstien

• Joseph J. Fisher

• Commissioner Christina Lambert

• Davicka N. Thompson

• Jim Mostad

• Daniel Hostettler

• Commissioner Adam Frankel

• Donald P. Dufresne, Esq. Staff

• Isami C. Ayala-Collazo - Assistant County Administrator

• Emanuel J. Perry - Executive Director

• Vannette Youyoute - Fiscal Manager

• Joan Hutchinson - Contracts Coordinator

• Patricia Ramirez - Administrative Assistant

Message from the Executive Director
Contents 4 About the Tourist Development Council 5 Palm Beach County 6 Palm Beach County Tourism Industry 7 Targeted Markets & Audiences 8 The Palm Beaches 9 Cultural Council for Palm Beach County 10 Palm Beach County Sports Commission 11 Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission 12 Tourism by the numbers

About the TDC

Mission: To lead the promotion of tourism in Palm Beach County by empowering collaborative partnerships, advocating appropriate destination defining developments, and ensuring the steady growth of visitors.

Vision: Palm Beach County will be a globally recognized destination that all travelers will want to visit and experience because of its culture, lifestyle and amenities.

The Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council (TDC) was established by the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) in 1981 to be the advisory board to the BCC and all things tourism. In 1982 the BCC enacted it first tourist development tax, referred to as “bed tax” which is levied on all overnight stays up to six months in duration.

The TDC is tasked with managing contracts and overseeing the operations of four marketing agencies, four tourismrelated facilities, as well as beach renourishment:

• Discover The Palm Beaches

• Cultural Council for Palm Beach County

• Palm Beach County Sports Commission

• Palm Beach County Film & Television Commission

• Cacti Park of the Palm Beaches

• Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

• Palm Beach County Convention Center

• Palm Beach County Convention Center Garage

Tourist Development Council WEST PALM BEACH 4

We Know

Palm Beach County

The Destination

2,300 Miles, 39 Cities/Towns, 7 Districts

Diverse Tourism Assets

MLB, PGA, Equestrian, Shopping, Luxury


Diverse Visitor Base

Families, High-End, Adventurers, DayTrippers

World Class Brand

The Palm Beaches


47 miles of coast, Everglades, Parks & Rec.


Palm Beach County’s Tourism Industry Is Soaring

Palm Beach County welcomed a record number 9.5 million visitors in 2023 generating an economic impact of $10.3 billion to the economy, resulting in a record number $84 million in bed taxes collected in FY23.

PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WES T PALM BEA CH 6 FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 $54,202,757 $43,311,722 $51,004,688 $77,817,161 $84,190,398 Bed Tax Collections M i l l i o n s FY19 FY20 FY21 FY22 FY23 8.25 5.17 7.94 9.25 9.5 Visitors to The Palm Beaches M i l l i o n s

Targeted Markets Targeted Audiences

The majority of our targeted audiences historically come from domestic markets in the Northeast and a few key DMAs within Georgia, California, Illinois and Texas.

Palm Beach International Airport reports that the northeast—New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C.—and Atlanta continue to be top markets based on frequency of flights and capacity; Los Angeles and Chicago are markets that could use support.

VISIT FLORIDA reports the top DMAs vital to the state’s success are New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. In 2021, New York and Georgia were the top origin states for domestic visitors to Florida.

In-state and drive-market travel remain important, especially as the airline industry suffers from staffing shortages, delays, cancelled flights, and high-ticket prices.

Canada also remains a key international market. Visitation to Florida in Q1 2023 was estimated at 1.4 million travelers to the state, a return to pre-pandemic numbers achieved in Q1 2019, according to VISIT FLORIDA.

Gen Z / Millennials

• Both generations are crucial for travel, leading the growth in niche travel

• 80% believe a vacation would significantly benefit their mental health

• They seek out wellness and one-of-a-kind experiences

• Love trying local food and aim to immerse in local culture

• According to American Express Travel’s 2023 Global Travel Trends Report:

• 79% view leisure travel as a major budget priority

• 84% would prefer a dream vacation over a new luxury item

• More likely to visit places seen on TV, news, or movies

• Highly influenced by destinations that are photogenic

• Gen Z especially relies on social media for travel research and inspiration

Boomers 57-75 26-41

• Boomers no longer the largest generation in American history, surpassed by Millennials, but still a significant target audience for travel, staying longer and spending more

• Florida ranks as a top-3 domestic destination for Boomers

• Spend approximately one month per year traveling and prefer leisure travel

• Seek destinations with good weather, relaxation, beaches and attractions

• Increasingly use mobile phones or devices for travel research and bookings

• Mainly consume traditional media


All three generational groups fall into a category the TDC plans to target heavily: families. While Millennial families make up the bulk of this audience, Boomers and Gen Zers account for more than 8% of visitors traveling with children, according to VISIT FLORIDA’s 2023-2024 marketing plan.


39,089 Actual FY23 Room Nights for Convention Center Shared

26,960,967 Social Media Engagement

In 2023, The Palm Beaches unveiled a new website, incorporating an advanced segmentation strategy that enabled the team to gain deeper insights into our visitors' profiles. This, in turn, facilitated the development of more effective marketing strategies to engage them. The brand's presence was significantly amplified through major activations in New York and Chicago, as well as participation in international travel trade events in Colombia, the UK, Mexico, and Brazil, garnering extensive exposure in these crucial markets.

The team also achieved noteworthy progress in securing a significant transformative event in the wellness space, addressing a crucial gap in the annual calendar. An impactful Golden Age of Travel brand activation and media blitz took place in Chicago, promoting travel to The Palm Beaches through PBIA's daily nonstop flights. This included an exclusive VIP event targeting over 20 key media and 100 key customers across all market segments, resulting in an impressive 124.3 million impressions across paid media, social platforms, PR, and digital channels.

98 Destination Reviews

·Hosted 145 influencers, reaching 20 million followers, generating 4.8 million impressions. 55% of the influencers were DEIA focused.

·Launched “Between the Sessions: A Meetings Industry Podcast,” the first destination-run podcast focusing on the Meetings & Events Industry



Supported Cat B & CII Organizations

3,155,571 Cultural Audiences

15,343 Room nights for creative professional employed by cultural organizations

In June 2023, the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County successfully introduced a new cultural tourism campaign, titled "The Palm Beaches – So Much Culture So Little Time." This innovative initiative showcases dynamic, cinematic-style videos and captivating photography depicting various cultural activities. Accompanied by compelling headlines and copy points, the campaign underscores the diverse array of experiences available in Florida's Cultural Capital®. A specialized sub-campaign, "Go Beyond Basel," was crafted around the international art festival, Art Basel, held in Miami in late November/early December. Targeting festival attendees and residents in the Miami area, the campaign encouraged them to explore The Palm Beaches for additional world-class art experiences. Collaborations with Discover The Palm Beaches, the Norton Museum of Art, and the Boca Raton Museum of Art resulted in cooperative advertising placements at strategic locations, such as Miami International Airport and Brightline stations and trains.

For the sixth consecutive year, MOSAIC 2023, launched in May, continued to drive cultural tourism promotion to attract tourists from the local market. The campaign featured the signature artwork created by local artist Tiffany Beasi, prominently used in advertising and marketing promotions. Twenty-five cultural partners were engaged to provide special offers throughout the month, while marketing collateral highlighted cultural organizations offering free admission experiences. Additionally, a groundbreaking Palm Beach County Open Studios event took place, featuring participation from over 75 artists and galleries.


314,333 Room Nights in FY23

196 Sports Hosted Events

20 Televised Events

The Palm Beach County Sports Commission achieved a remarkable milestone in sports tourism, delivering a recordsetting year. Surpassing 314,000 room nights for the first time, the commission hosted 196 events, establishing a new standard of accomplishment.

The strategic combination of The Ballpark of The Palm Beaches and Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium bestowed a significant competitive advantage upon the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. This synergy played a pivotal role in securing 34 regional and national baseball tournaments and showcases throughout the past year.

Palm Beach County proudly hosted two professional golf events, namely The Honda Classic (PGA Tour) and the TimberTech Championship (PGA Champions Tour). Both events garnered extensive coverage with televised broadcasts on the Golf Channel and NBC. With a combined viewership of 19.1 million (16.9 million from the PGA Tour and 2.2 million from the PGA Tour Champions), these events not only showcased the county but also made a substantial economic and tourism impact. The Winter Equestrian Festival, spanning 12 weeks, featured the nation's premier equestrian showjumping events across 55 unique divisions of competition. Attracting over 20,000 participants and drawing 250,000 spectators during FEI and national competitions, the festival further solidified Palm Beach County's position as a hub for diverse and thriving sporting events.


In 2023, the Palm Beaches experienced an unprecedented surge in filming activity, generating over $238.7 million in production revenue and hosting nearly 500 projects. Palm Beaches TV (PBTV) continued to excel as a standard-bearer for tourism-centric content, showcasing over 80 hours of original programming and claiming the spotlight on South Florida Daily WFLX at noon. Notably, four large-screen TVs were installed at Palm Beach International Airport's baggage claim and the visitors center, captivating arrivals and inviting them to explore The Palm Beaches.

The Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films received an impressive 528 student submissions, representing 75 schools from across Florida. Recognizing emerging talent, over $20,000 in cash prizes and scholarships were awarded to support the education of future leaders in the filming industry.

Sponsorship of four new episodes of "On the Town in The Palm Beaches with Frank Licari" showcased the region's diversity, with episodes such as "Latin Style," "Around the World (European, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures)," and spotlights on "Health & Wellness" and "Family-Friendly Fun.“

Returning with six fresh episodes, Kitty Lundan brought back "What’s Poppin’ PBC?" to uncover exciting and new adventures in The Palm Beaches, adding vibrancy and entertainment to the local scene.


Palm Beach County will be a globally recognized destination. That all visitors will want to experience because of it’s culture, lifestyle, & amenities. For more information visit:

Tourism by the Numbers

FY2023 Annual Impact Report

Visitors RoomInventory Impact


9.5 million visitors to The Palm Beaches

6.7 million room available

$10.3 billion economic impact

6.6 million visitors via Palm Beach International Airport

4.5 million rooms sold

$84 million in Bex Tax Collections

S u m m a r y R e p o r t $4.5m $2.4m $1.2m $6m $13.8m 98,700 Renewal & Replacement Convention Center Rental Revenue Convention Center F&B Sales Grants Awarded Beach Renourishment Jobs Supported
thesectorin ThePalm Beaches $2.4bn $1.9bn $1.1bn $1.0bn $0.6bn Lodging Food & Beverage Retail Recreation Transportation 12
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