PETER CRANIS: Rocket Launches Bolster Tourism on the Space Coast, Upcoming Manned Missions Expected to Draw Huge Crowds
By Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director // February 18, 2023
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The recent launch of Artemis reinforces how important launches are to our tourism economy. In studies we have done, people coming to watch launches and stay overnight typically spend $1,050 per party ($350 per person), and even people coming for the day spend $150 per party ($50 per person).
About 35% of the people coming for launches told us they were coming specifically for the launch, and 50% stayed in accommodations here on the Space Coast.
For some of the crewed Space X launches we had in recent years, we tracked between 100-150,000 people coming from outside the county. 100,000 people would equate to an approximate economic impact of $20 million, and 150,000 would be $30 million.
For Artemis, we had several different opportunities to attract visitors due to the delays that occurred. On Monday prior to Labor Day Weekend (8/29), we estimate just over 100,000 people were in town.
And for Labor Day, we know that while many people were here just because of the holiday weekend, we also had the busiest Labor Day weekend we have ever had with hotels running in the high 80% range that Friday and Saturday. The year prior, we were only in the 70s.
And on Nov. 14, when Artemis launched in the early morning hours, we were tracking over 75,000 people from outside the county. So, big launches definitely drive crowds and positively impact tourism businesses.
This year, there is an expected 80 launches following an all-time high of 57 launches last year. Some of those bigger launches, such as those with human crews, will certainly drive business to the Space Coast. It’s an exciting time to be here, and tourism and the space program continue to be linked together.
– Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director