Sarasota News Leader


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GOING UP The City of Sarasota barely edged out Siesta Key for the total amount of tourist development tax revenue collected in the 2012 fiscal year. Chart courtesy Sarasota County Tax Collector���s Office FALL TOURISM FIGURES ARE AHEAD OF THE 2011 NUMBERS, AND EARLY SIGNS INDICATE MORE GROWTH IN THE 2013 SEASON By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Based on strong numbers for October and November, the president of Sarasota County���s tourism office says she is ���cautiously optimistic about the season ������ Virginia Haley of Visit Sarasota County told The Sarasota News Leader Dec. 19 that in November, the county saw a 10.4 percent increase in visitors compared to the same month in 2011, and their spending was up by 13.7 percent. Fall usually is a good time for European visitors to come to Sarasota County, Haley noted, but after seeing such strong growth last year from that market, she was not expecting much this year. ���Frankly, we thought there would be a leveling off,��� she pointed out. The numbers told a different story: The number of European visitors in November was up 21.7 percent over the same month in 2011, the The tourist development tax revenue for Oc- count of Canadian tourists rose 16.7 percent tober was up 5 percent over the number for and the number of Midwesterners visiting the area increased 25 percent, she said. October 2011, she added.

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