TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Convention Center is set for a record-breaking 2023, with its busiest convention schedule in its history.
What You Need To Know
- Visit Tampa Bay capitalized on selling Tampa as a convention and tourism destination during the pandemic
- Even in 2021 alone, Visit Tampa Bay stated it saw 24.6 million visitors
Visit Tampa Bay stated it capitalized on selling Tampa as a convention and tourism destination during the pandemic when other parts of the country were shut down.
Those groups are returning next year, en masse.
“Next year we have so many different types of groups coming into town,” said Santiago Corrada, CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “Repeat groups. New groups. Big, big groups. Over 10,000 attendees for some of these groups."
On top of record convention traffic, Visit Tampa Bay stated it is also seeing a spike in new job creation in the tourism industry and expects to see visitor numbers increasing in 2023, too.
Right now, there are 50,561 jobs in tourism in Hillsborough County, which makes up 7% of Florida’s fourth most populated county.
In 2021, Visit Tampa Bay stated it saw 24.6 million day and overnight visitors, and that it expects to see higher numbers in 2023.
“Summer, traditionally, not anymore, but traditionally have been a slow season because the entire country is open for business right? You can go anywhere in the country during the summer and it's pretty good weather,” said Santiago. “Well now that's not the case because we have laid a foundation of big-time conventions all next summer, on top of leisure travelers and tourists."
Even ending 2022, Tampa is seeing a spike in visitors as snowbirds start returning.
Corrada says although the additional visitors may slow traffic and wait times around town for locals, more visitors help pay sales and education taxes, and keeps Florida income tax-free.