BREVARD, FL – November 15, 2021 The Space Coast Office of Tourism’s recovery year has surpassed record numbers, with total Tourist Development Tax (TDT) for the fiscal year (October 2020 – September 2021) reached $16,939,307. This is in comparison to $13.065 million in 2020 and exceeding the $16.023 million high in 2019. Since the recovery began starting in March and through to September, TDT was at $12.06 million, beating the $10.1 million in the same period in 2019. Hotels represented 64% in TDT for the year, followed by vacation rentals at 34%. In terms of hotel/motel revenue by city, Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral (32%) were slightly ahead of Melbourne and the Beaches (30%) as a percentage of the total.
“Clearly the return to sailing at the Port gave us some added boost, but also people were ready to travel and that is reflected in the numbers,” says Peter Cranis, Executive Director. Cruising, which returned July 31, makes up 20% of Space Coast tourism, and Port Canaveral continues to earn its title of second busiest cruising port in the world, only behind Port Miami. Cruises have began operating at 74-84% capacity on recent sailings, and 66 cruises were scheduled in the first two months of the return alone.
“Both the Spring and Summer marketing campaigns with a $2.85 million budget can be credited with some of this improvement,” adds Cranis. “The campaigns have been able to show our outdoor experiences such as beaches and nature juxtaposed with rocket launches which truly differentiate us.”
The split-screen Spring TV Ad, created by agency-of-record &Barr, won Gold in the 2022 Graphis Design Competition under the categories of video animation. It emphasized the “Only Here” aspect of the campaign, showing icons for different cities “+ Space.” A version of this split-screen idea was continued through the Summer. The Summer campaign was also supplemented by a Pandora station, Space Coast Grooves, with songs chosen by staff, partners, and fans that attracted 15K total listeners and 109K total spins, with an average time spent listening of 24 minutes. The songs chosen evoke a Space Coast getaway with favorite “songs of summer” like from The Beach Boys, but with some space themed songs added in like Elton John’s Rocket Man and David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
Launches have always been a major impact to Space Coast tourism, and in the past fiscal year, 34 launches including Crew-2 and Inspiration4 (the first all civilian mission) brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area. In fact, 2020 as a calendar year was recognized as the number one launch site in the world with a total of 31 launches and 2021 is shaping up to tie with 24 successful launches and another 7 potentially set for the rest of the year.
Looking ahead to 2021/2022, the Space Coast Office of Tourism has a lot to be excited about. Fall is for Foodies kicked off in November to celebrate the culinary offerings the Space Coast has to offer and included inviting influencers in market to share with their audiences. Starting in March, top UK airline and tourism company TUI will begin flying direct from London to the Melbourne Orlando Airport, bringing 150,000 Brits a year. Port Canaveral will be homeporting a record 11 ships in the coming year, including those from Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, and MSC. Disney’s newest ship Wish will embark in Summer 2022. Port Canaveral expects an average of 55 cruise sailings a month in the current budget year. 2022 kicks off the start to the Artemis program with the uncrewed Artemis 1 test launch set for February. The primary goal of the Artemis program is to return humans, including the first woman, to the moon by 2025 to establish a sustainable human presence and continue towards Mars.
Meagan Happel, PR Manager