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November 13, 2020
2019 Value of Visitors Report
Every two years the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau (AICVB) works with Downs & St. Germain Research, an independent, Tallahassee-based market research firm, to evaluate the value of visitors to Amelia Island: Their value to Nassau County's economy, to Nassau County government, and to the citizens of Nassau County. The intent of this report is to present factual data from a myriad of sources including Research Data Service, the FL Department of Revenue, the Nassau County Property Appraiser and Tax Collector, Smith Travel  Research, various Florida and federal agencies, VISIT FLORIDA, and from visitors themselves.

According to the 2019 Value of Visitor Report nearly 1.5 million visitors generated $679 million in direct spending in Nassau County, Florida, resulting in:
 
Total economic impact of nearly $897 million
from Amelia Island's tourism industry in 2019.

 


The following are among the many other highlights and insights the report provides on the economic impact of Nassau County’s tourism industry.
  • From 2000 to 2019, the number of annual visitors has almost doubled, whereas the amount of visitor spending has increased 255%, a clear indication the AICVB has been successful in its efforts to increase yield, thereby building a sustainable tourism industry.
  • Visitors accounted for more than 35% of all retail sales in the county, without which many of the island’s favorite restaurants, shops and other businesses would likely not exist. Visitors to Amelia Island also accounted for 35.2% of all expenditures in Nassau, meaning the county’s economic health would decline by more than one third without visitor spending.
  • In 2019, 14,3345 local jobs were attributed to direct spending from visitors, which conservatively translates into one job for every 102 visitors. Put in perspective, this means nearly 36% of all jobs in Nassau County are directly attributable to tourism on Amelia Island, making it the county’s No. 1 industry.
  • Nassau County’s economy is more than one and a half times as dependent on tourism as the economy of Florida – a state which draws more than 120 million annual visitors, and in which 16% of the employment is in the leisure and hospitality sector.
  • Comparatively speaking, more than two times as much of the labor force in Nassau County is employed in tourism when compared to the labor force of the State of Florida, and when compared to the entire US labor force.
  • Visitors to Amelia Island paid 38.3% of all local and state taxes in Nassau County in 2019, and accounted for 35.2% of all taxable sales. In sum, visitors generated 36.7% of all tax revenue for Nassau County government or over $84 million.
  • Without the revenue generated by visitors, each Nassau County household would have had to pay an additional $1,719 in taxes to receive the same level of services from county government. When factoring in state sales taxes paid by visitors to Amelia Island, visitors saved each county household nearly $4,445 in all local and state taxes paid to Nassau County government and the Nassau County Public School District, a nearly 31% increase in tax savings compared to 2017.
  • Every $1.00 invested in tourism marketing in 2019 generated $6.98 for the Nassau County School System (up from $4.10 in 2017), $22.36 for Nassau County government (up from $12.33 in 2017), and $180 in visitor spending (up from $105 in 2017). 
View the 2019 Value of Visitor Report
SMARTIES AWARDS
We are proud to announce that Amelia Island’s “Moments” campaign won two Silver SMARTIES Awards from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). This is the highest achievement across the globe honoring and awarding outstanding innovation resulting in significant business impact. Winning programs are technology and marketing breakthroughs that exemplify inventive creativity and success. The Moments campaign won in the AR/VR (globally) and Pivot Marketing (North America) categories, in the company of winners such as Cadillac and the LA Rams. This honor is a testament to the destination's willingness to implement smart, mobile-friendly ideas.


DICKENS ON CENTRE & HOLIDAY UPDATE
Although 2020 has dampened spirits around the world, Amelia Island is booting the “humbug” and making the holidays merry and bright with a schedule of festive activities (Dec. 4-13) in downtown Fernandina Beach and around the island. Capturing the spirit of the island’s traditional Dickens on Centre event, December festivities have been transformed to meet COVID-19 guidelines, allowing friends and family to safely enjoy a Victorian-themed celebration of food, fun, and entertainment, under a canopy of twinkling lights. The current schedule of holiday activities* includes:
  • New Dickens Dining Week (Dec. 4-13). Sixteen award-winning restaurants will be showcasing their culinary skills with Dickens-inspired pre-fixe menus and special holiday dishes, served with a Victorian flair.
  • A new St. Nick Meet & Greet experience will take place at the Amelia Island Welcome Center, where children can safely visit and get pictures with St. Nick in his workshop. Safety protocols will be in place, including temperature checks, social distancing and face masks. The reservation-only experience can be booked in advance online.
  • Horse drawn carriage rides will once again bring the clip-clop of hooves and jingling sleigh bells to Fernandina Beach’s downtown historic district. Available for 10 days only, rides will be provided by Country Carriages, with special tours from the Amelia Island Museum of History. Reservations can be made by calling 904-669-8619 or online.
  • The annual Holiday Lights will add a warm holiday glow to streets lined with festive Dickens-inspired decorations.
  • Local restaurants and shop owners will compete in the Window Decorating Contest, putting on their holiday best as visitors vote for their favorite storefront. Voting can be done online.
  • While shopping, dining and exploring downtown, guests can expect to be surprised and delighted by live entertainment, including holiday carolers and other “pop-up” acoustic performances.
  • The annual Christmas Wish Tree is sure to be loaded this year! Visitors can pick up their wooden tag at the Amelia Island Welcome Center, write down a Christmas Wish, and then hang it on the tree located in the pocket park next to Amelia Island Coffee. While at the Welcome Centre, visitors can also write and drop Letters to St. Nick in the special mailbox.
  • The 14th Annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour (Dec. 4-5) will showcase five stunning homes in the downtown historic district of Fernandina Beach, each decorated for the holidays by a local florist or decorator. The annual fundraiser benefits the Amelia Island Museum of History. Tickets can be purchased online.
  • And in the tradition of the Dickens on Centre story readings, Ron Kurtz will perform a dramatic reading of “The Night Before Christmas” on Friday, Dec. 4th at 7 p.m., livestreamed on Amelia Island’s Facebook page.
*Please note: All activities are subject to change. We will give advance notice where and when possible.
Visit AmeliaIsland.com/Christmas
AMMENDEMENT 2: MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE
An abbreviated update on Amendment 2 from the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association newsletter:

By very thin margins, Florida voters passed Ballot Amendment 2, which will raise Florida’s minimum wage to $15/hour by 2026, beginning with its first increase to $10/hour by the end of September 2021. The amendment barely passed the 60% mark required, with a final tally of 60.8%. FRLA was heavily engaged in the Florida minimum wage battle since it was announced as a proposed Ballot Amendment for Florida voters. Despite a true grassroots campaign across the state, Ballot Amendment 2 passed. So, what happens now? The first step in this process is for the minimum wage to increase to $10 an hour by September 30, 2021. This is the largest increase in the path to $15.

FRLA will be providing updates to industry partners as they become available. For more information contact Nicole Chapman, FRLA Regional Director at cell-904-537-2259 (call or text) or nchapman@frla.org
FY2021 Marketing Plan & Resources
If you missed it, you can find copies of Amelia Island's 2021 Marketing Plan, the industry meeting presentation and our cooperative advertising program for fiscal year 2021 under resources on AmeliaIslandTDC.com or the links below. 
Get the Most from Your AICVB Partnership
Nate Aron, your AICVB Business & Partner Relations Manager, has outlined a partner guide to ensure you take advantage of your AICVB partnership! Explore your AICVB Partner Guide

STR PERFORMANCE

GENERAL REMINDERS

#AmeliaIslandMemories Contest
The #AmeliaIslandMemories contest kicked off in September and encourages our fans to take a trip down memory lane while reminiscing about their favorite trips to Amelia Island. Help us cross promote the photo contest through your own channels. You can share our posts about the contest, or use the monthly theme promotion to post natively on your pages!

Industry Newsletters
Looking to reference our previous newsletters? They can all be found here

Collateral Material Delivery
The AICVB contracts with the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce to distribute our collateral materials to partners.  We provide free brochures and delivery including Visitor Guides, Value Cards, bike maps, AR Experience maps, Discovery Maps, etc. If you need any collateral delivered, please call 261-3248 or email info@nassaucountyflchamber.com to arrange delivery. 


COVID-19 Resources
  • Face masks and social distancing kits are will available. Call the Welcome Center (open daily 10am-4pm) or call 904-277-0717 to arrange. 
  • There is a large variety of printable and shareable signage from the AICVB, Nassau Emergency Management, etc. available for your use. Visit the AmeliaIslandTDC.com Travel Advisory Page and scroll down to the "Tools to Use" section at the bottom of the page. 
  • For additional helpful information and resources, visit the Amelia Island TDC COVID-19 Advisory Page.
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© 2020 Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2398 Sadler Road, Suite 200
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

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