Spotlight on: Tampa, Fla.
Norwood Smith said visitor spending supports more than 46,000 jobs with more than $1 billion in wages in the community. In August 2012, Tampa will host the 2012 Republican National Convention, expected to draw 40,000 attendees, who will book 89,000 room nights and contribute an estimated $250 million in direct spending.
Meetings like those are well-publicized, but the smaller ones throughout the year deliver the real bread and butter. They keep hundreds of small businesses afloat. “It’s about creating jobs. It’s just an amazing return on investment for the community and fuels a lot of businesses in the city,” says Smith.
The Philadelphia Church of God will host its Feast of Tabernacles meeting in Tampa from 2012 through 2014. The city expects a combined 6,600 attendees to generate $1.8 million in delegate spending during the annual seven-day festival.