a couple on a boardwalk over the dunes at Pass-a-Grille Beach at sunset

Quaint and tiny Pass-a-Grille Beach is one of our local treasures.

from visitors, with love

What Visitors Mean to St. Pete/Clearwater

Tourism is the number one industry in Pinellas County. It provides thousands of jobs and brings billions of dollars into our local economy each year. In fact, tourism dollars funded nearly $5 million in beach renourishment last year, protecting one of our top assets for locals and visitors alike to enjoy. We like to call this "From Visitors, With Love."


When visiting St. Pete/Clearwater, our guests don't take sand dollars, they spend them, supporting the local economy.

We know that, at certain times of year, our local residents may have to wait a little longer at their favorite restaurants, and traffic may be heavier than you'd like. But these are small inconveniences when you take a moment think of all of the benefits visitors bring to our communities. 

When visiting St. Pete/Clearwater, our guests don't take sand dollars – they spend them. In fact, the average hotel visitor in St. Pete/Clearwater spends more than 209 "sand dollars" each day in our area! The dollars they spend support jobs and economic growth in our community and help fund important capital projects as well.

While visitors love our award-winning beaches, please remember that what really makes this destination such a special place to visit is the local residents who welcome our guests with open arms. It's no wonder so many visitors return year after year to beautiful Pinellas County.

Conversations About Tourism's Impact on Our Community

Hear from leaders in Pinellas County tourism and hospitality.

Learn About Emergency Shoreline Restoration Projects

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater President & CEO Brian Lowack and Pinellas County Public Works Director Kelli Levy discuss the emergency shoreline restoration projects taking place at numerous Pinellas County beaches.

Listen Here

Learn About Proposed Plans for a New Ballpark for the Rays

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater President & CEO Brian Lowack and Pinellas County Commission Chair and Tourist Development Council Chair Janet Long talk about funding sources for a new Tampa Bay Rays ballpark in St. Pete and how the redevelopment of the Trop site will benefit Pinellas County.

Listen Here

Learn About the Impact of Major Events

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater President & CEO Brian Lowack and Senior Business Development Manager for Sports Caleb Peterson discuss the huge economic impact of sporting events like the WWE Royal Rumble and Spring Training.

Listen Here

FAQs About What Visitors Mean to Our Destination

How many jobs in Pinellas County are tourism-related?

The tourism industry supports more than 1 out of 10 jobs locally. In 2022, visitor spending created over 109,000 local jobs resulting in $3.56 billion in wages for tourism-industry workers in our county.

 

How much do visitors spend in Pinellas County each year?

Visitors spent $6.7 billion in 2022. Almost half of that ($3 billion) was spent in restaurants and retail establishments.

 

How much tax revenue is generated by visitor spending?

$423 million in tax revenue is generated by visitor spending annually. This saves the average Pinellas County resident more than $850 in taxes each year.

 

What taxes do visitors pay?

Visitors are charged a 6% tax on any short-term lodging (of six months or less). This is called the Tourist Development Tax (TDT).

Visitors also pay sales tax on purchases while here, and their higher daily spending patterns contribute significantly to the county's tax coffers. In fact sales tax generated from visitor spending was more than $61 million in 2022.

 

What kind of projects does the Tourist Development Tax (TDT) support?

The TDT supports nearly $5 million in beach renourishment each year. In addition, the TDT tax funds capital projects, elite events, the arts, and marketing Pinellas County as a destination. In 2022, the total Tourist Development Tax amount was more than $95 million.

 

How many visitors come to St. Pete/Clearwater each year?

Over 15 million visitors traveled to Pinellas County in 2022. This number represents both vacationers and business travelers.

 

How do tourism businesses contribute to the tax base in Pinellas County?

Local businesses that own their own properties pay property tax. For example, local hotels and lodging businesses in Pinellas County paid $266 million in property taxes in 2022.

 

What does Visit St. Pete/Clearwater do?

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the official tourism marketing and marketing management organization for Pinellas County.  We are part of Pinellas County government, utilizing TDT funds to develop, enhance and promote tourism with a focus on leisure, meetings, sports and film, both domestically and internationally.

More than 15 million visitors to Pinellas County contributed $6.7 billion in direct visitor spending in 2022.

Caulin Donaldson, aka TrashCaulin Picks up trash
Share a little love

Cleanup is a love language

Both visitors and locals alike can share the love by helping keep St. Pete/Clearwater beautiful for everyone to enjoy. Consider joining a park or beach cleanup. We hope to see you out there!

Keep Pinellas Beautiful Upcoming Events
For Residents

Deals for locals!

As an appreciation, please take a moment to consider taking advantage of some of our local-appreciation deals!