Tourism is looking a little healthier in Southwest Florida. While there are signs of improvement and reasons for hope, there’s still a long way to go in the industry’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s the message members of Collier County’s Tourist Development Council heard Monday through presentations made during its monthly meeting.

While most of the metrics used to gauge the health of tourism in the county are still in the negative, they’ve improved greatly since April amid heightened travel restrictions and concerns stemming from the pandemic.

The year-over-year declines the county saw in August aren’t as big as they were in the months of April to July, although they remain in the double digits.

In August, Collier County — including Naples, Marco Island and Immokalee —had 93,100 visitors staying in its hotels or other vacation rentals. That was down 17.4% over the same month last year, according to the latest report by Tampa-based Research Data Services, a county consultant.

By comparison, visitation was off by 25% over the year in July. In April, it was down by 92%.

Monthly statistics aren’t available in Lee County, but its tourism industry has also suffered greatly from the impacts of the pandemic. The county’s next tourism report — done quarterly — won’t be out for a few months.

The most recent report for Lee — prepared by Tallahassee-based Downs & Germain Research — shows visitor numbers plunged by more than 64% in the second quarter of this year as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Some of Collier’s Tourism Metrics for August

Room nights booked declined 21.2% to 122,400

Economic impact fell 18.4% to less than $81 million

Occupancy shrank by 26.3% to 45.6%

Revenue per available room dropped 15.3% to $80.51

According to STR, several destinations in Florida saw declines in their average daily rates in August, including Miami (-25%) and Clearwater (-10.5%) and St. Petersburg (-7.2%).

Source: Naples Daily News