NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Manatee County tourism breaks record topping $1 billion in 2019

Posted at 7:51 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 19:51:03-05

ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. — Tourism in Manatee County brought in a record-breaking $1,056,770,000 in 2019.

"We’ve traveled to other places and we just find that we keep coming back here, it’s beautiful," said Gail Tomblin-Murphy, visiting from Canada.

She and her family are visiting again in May. They’re bringing more people and plan to bring them to Ginny's & Jane E’s, an island staple.

"We’re busy, we’re busy all the time. This is no longer a seasonal business," said Paul Foster, Ginny's & Jane E’s owner.

Businesses are thriving on Anna Maria Island. More than $1 billion came into Manatee County in tourism dollars last year.

Anna Maria Oyster Bar says it could be that people were happy red tide was gone.

MANATEE NEWS | The latest headlines from Manatee County

"You could tell people just felt good again. They were getting out more. I mean, our sales went up six percent which is phenomenal," said John Horne, Anna Maria Oyster Bar owner.

Anne Wittine of Research Data Services Inc. presented a 2019 visitor profile to the Manatee County Tourist Development Council this month.

They found that the number of visitors in 2019 was 772,500, up from 715,400 in 2018.