There aren’t enough people who want the service jobs offered on Amelia Island, the reasons for which are varied. Without enough workers to properly service the island’s hotels and resorts at top capacity, management of these properties have taken steps like raising their rates, but tourism demand remains strong.
According to numbers received Tuesday regarding traditional lodging on the island, occupancy is up 8%, while the average daily rate is up 19%.
“The really incredible thing is taking a look at the revenue for 12 months running, is actually up 85%, year over year,” Amy Boek, Chief Marketing Officer for the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners this week. “Last year, at this time, was down 15%, so to see that ginormous growth is really incredible for us.”
During discussion among Commissioners, they said what they’re hearing is that what’s holding back tourism is there aren’t enough people to fill the open lodging jobs.
“I think that’s one of the reasons why we’re seeing such incredible rates, is so many of our lodging properties are increasing their rates in order to try to curb occupancy, but people are still paying for it. So, they aren’t curbing that occupancy fee. It’s definitely helping in our bed tax collections.”
Local leaders are planning for the future of area tourism now, beginning public outreach for related projects on beach harmonization and tourism strategic planning.
The beach harmonization project is to develop, as the name indicates, a unified long-term vision and plan for the island’s seven beach parks — North Beach, Main Beach, Seaside Park, Peters Point, Burney Park, the Scott Road Access Point and the South Road Access.
The tourism strategy effort, called Nassau Next, is meant to provide a 10-year plan for job creation and economic expansion.
Details on the projects and ways to provide comment are online at MemoriesMaking.com.