Record-breaking 8 Million Visitors in The Palm Beaches, 2018

Tenth consecutive year of record-breaking visitation celebrated by Discover The Palm Beaches  

Suggested tweet: 8 million visitors can’t be wrong – see for yourself why people love #ThePalmBeaches. @PalmBeachesFL

West palm beach beach
West Palm Beach skyline photo downloadable by clicking here.

Editors notes:

  • Click here to download sound bites from Discover The Palm Beaches President & CEO Jorge Pesquera.
  • Click here for downloadable images of The Palm Beaches.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 28, 2019) Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, announced record-breaking visitation numbers for 2018. DTPB’s year-end hotel performance data shows 8.02 million visitors came to The Palm Beaches from January to December, which increased 1.7% over 2017 and marked ten years in a row of visitation growth to the destination. The visitation generated a record-high $7.4 billion in economic impact to the area, supporting more than 70,000 jobs in Palm Beach County.
International visitors increased by half a percent to 749,000, with notable growth from the UK (growing 9% to 39,000 visitors), Brazil (growing 3% to 29,000 visitors), and Colombia (growing 5% to 22,000 visitors). Domestic visitation grew 1.2% to nearly 4.5 million visitors from outside Florida. Visits originating within Florida grew 2.8% to 2.8 million visits, with Orlando showing the strongest growth with a 13% increase for the year.

visitation graph

“It’s clear that tourism’s continued growth speaks volumes about Palm Beach County’s core strengths and traditions in the hospitality arena, but rest assured that the best is yet to come. We’re thrilled to see ten consecutive years of increasing visitation – and thankful that our community engagement with tourism partners and the resources provided by the county have helped us reach new heights,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO for DTPB. “As we promote this exceptional destination to a global audience, we will continue to deliver results and lasting prosperity. We are now able to entice decision makers to invest boldly in new hotels, attractions and activities that put people to work and enhance our quality of life.”
Important drivers of 2018’s visitation growth include the expanding meetings and conventions market, a strengthened marketing plan and positive press exposure for the destination. In February 2019, DTPB announced that it launched new marketing and leisure sales representation in five international markets: Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Germany and Mexico – in addition to the company’s existing representation in Brazil and England – with the purpose of increasing visitation from these countries into the destination.
“We are building long-term economic strength for the future of Palm Beach County, and the continued growth in visitation shows that our collaborative tourism strategic efforts are working,” explained Glenn Jergensen, executive director for the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council (TDC). “The Palm Beaches are on an unprecedented trend of leisure, arts/culture, sports and meetings/convention tourism successes, and we’re aiming to become a year-round travel destination.”
“Discover The Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council agencies promoting sports, cultural and film/television-related visitations are collectively positioning The Palm Beaches as a highly desirable, multifaceted destination. Record-high meetings and convention sales also reaffirm the tremendous opportunities in that market, and the need for additional hotel inventory and convention infrastructure,” said Mary Lou Berger, Palm Beach County Commissioner and Chair of the TDC. “The area’s iconic reputation, vibrant culture, beautiful cities and remarkable venues have put this destination on the map. Thanks to the 70,000 tourism industry employees who deliver our welcoming hospitality, it continues to be a place where visitors want to return, time and time again.”
Discover more about The Palm Beaches at Follow @PalmBeachesFL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About Discover The Palm Beaches
Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official 501(c)(6) not-for-profit tourism marketing organization that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches,” which spans more than 2,300 square miles and 47 miles of pristine, golden beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $4.8 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $7 billion. Once recognized as a tropical escape for elite travelers in the late 1800s, America’s First Resort Destination® is making its resurgence as The Best Way To Experience Florida®, welcoming a record-breaking 8.02 million people in 2018. The Palm Beaches are home to more than 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, 160 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations.
Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are also home to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), with more than 200 daily direct flights to 27 domestic and international destinations in the United States and Canada. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located next to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports, each one only an hour away. In addition, with the Virgin Trains USA (formerly known as Brightline), transportation into The Palm Beaches from Fort Lauderdale and Miami is even faster and more convenient – with an additional connection to Orlando coming soon.
For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit and connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PalmBeachesFL, YouTube at Discover The Palm Beaches and the hashtag #ThePalmBeaches. Tune-in to The Palm Beaches TV for 24/7 streaming content of the destination’s hotels, attractions, restaurants and experiences. 
Ashley Svarney
Senior Director, Public Relations & Social Media
Discover The Palm Beaches
[email protected]
Office: 561-233-3030; Cell: 954-592-6683
Angela Cruz Ledford
Manager, Public Relations & Communications
Discover The Palm Beaches
[email protected]
Office: 561-233-3064; Cell: 318-512-7464