Space Coast Set to Welcome Visitors For Upcoming Manned Rocket Launch – Make Your Plans Now
By Space Coast Daily // May 23, 2020
Putting the Space in Space Coast – The Economic and Tourism Impact of Launches
Limitation of Tourism and Lodging Order expired May 4 allowing hotels to begin accepting reservations again
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Visitors have made the trip to Florida’s Space Coast to witness launches in person since the dawn of the space program.
As Brevard County returns to the tradition of human space flight, it is sure to assist in the recovery efforts for COVID-19. Initially, Space Florida projected half a million visitors coming to view this historic launch.
The Limitation of Tourism and Lodging Order expired May 4 allowing hotels to begin accepting reservations again, and beach parking has started to reopen just in time.
“We encourage visitors to come a day early for launches to avoid the hassle of traffic into the county and to book lodging early which will allow you ample time to find your ideal viewing location without parking along roads or causeways,” said Peter Cranis, Executive Director of Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism.
“This is especially important for milestone events like the return to human space flight and Mars 2020.”
Visitation for launches is a major contributor to the local economy through both the amount spent on a trip and the 5 percent Tourist Development Tax on hotel rooms and other short-term rentals, often referred to as the bed tax.
“The average party that stayed overnight spent about $1,065 and individuals spent about $350,” said Cranis.
“Even day-trippers have an impact, spending on average about $144, based on a 2019 study conducted by Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism.”
About half of the people doing an overnight trip for a launch stayed in a hotel and about a third rented some kind of other accommodation such as a vacation rental, b&b, condo, campground, etc.
While half of overnight visitors stay in Cocoa Beach, 40 percent found lodging in Cape Canaveral, Titusville or Indian Harbour Beach/Indialantic. In fact, Titusville bed tax collections have increased by 40 percent from 2016 to 2019.
“Brevard County has been in the midst of a hotel building boom since 2017 with at least eight new properties either proposed, planned, or in construction,” said Cranis.
“This would add more than 860 rooms. The upcoming Courtyard by Marriott, in partnership with Delaware North, will be in Titusville 6.4 miles away from Kennedy Space Center.”
Taking advantage of being the closest hotel to the action, it will include a rooftop deck with bar providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a front-row seat to a rocket launch.
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