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First Coast

Jacksonville March Tourism Numbers Top City's 2005 Super Bowl

Downtown Jacksonville
Ryan Ketterman
/
Visit Jacksonville
Downtown Jacksonville skyline

Jacksonville is having a record breaking year for tourism – and yes – that includes topping the city’s 2005 Super Bowl.

Visitation and hotels revenue during the months of January, February and March have been the highest ever recorded for the destination, according to Visit Jacksonville.

Total hotel revenue collected from January, February and March 2018 is up more than $12 million from the first quarter of 2017.

The numbers were even better last month with March 2018 seeing he highest amount of rooms ever sold in Duval County at over 462,000, according to Visit Jacksonville.

Total hotel revenue collected in March came in at $45.7 million, which is 7.9% over March 2017.

“Visitors to Jacksonville support an industry that generates $3.2 billion annually, one of the largest sectors in our economy employing more than 50,000 workers,” said Bill Prescott, Chair of Visit Jacksonville’s Board, in an email to WJCT News.

Visit Jacksonville said March marked 53 straight months of growth for Jacksonville’s key tourism indicators.

Visit Jacksonville’s Katie Mitura said the city is an easy sell because it has so much going for it.  “We talk about nature and the outdoors and the easy accessibility of our waterways and our beaches. We also talk about our amazing arts and culture scene. And then we also talk about Jacksonville as a sports destination and a wellness destination. And then we tell people about our amazing dining scene here, about all the great attractions and things to do and how we have the largest urban park system in the country.”

Comparing March 2018 to February 2005, when the city hosted Super Bowl XXXIX, the hospitality occupancy rate was 82.2% compared to 81.1%.

And since we're comparing the numbers to Jacksonville's Super Bowl, here's a blast from the past. Enjoy Paul McCartney's halftime show at what was then Alltel Stadium on Sunday, February 2005, where the Patriots defeated the Eagles by a score of 24–21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0tZyMqhZEQ

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.