During a special event on the state of the tourism industry in Palm Beach County, Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB) highlighted the evolution of the tourism industry through new technologies and the long-term transformation and sustainability of the destination. During the meeting, officials from DTPB, the official destination marketing organization of Palm Beach County, discussed various crucial initiatives. The topics included the significance of the tourism master plan and second convention center hotel and the introduction of new artificial intelligence and forecasting tools. The organization also presented its 2024 marketing campaign during the discussion.
A panel of speakers, including Vail Ross of 2Synergize, Darren Rankine of Transparent Partners, and Richard Cutting-Miller of CSL International, convened to discuss the latest trends and share expert insights into the tourism industry. The panel covered various topics, including the current technology and data landscape, metrics and artificial intelligence, destination strategy, economics, sustainability, and planning, all critical aspects of the continually evolving industry. The event also featured guest speakers, including DTPB Chairman of Board Jason Emmett and Palm Beach County Administrator Virginia Baker.
The CEO and president of DTPB, Milton Segarra, reaffirmed his commitment to making tourism a shared value and economic driver for Palm Beach County. He has outlined the key focus areas for DTPB in 2024, which include developing a tourism master plan and building a second headquarters hotel in the convention center district. These initiatives are expected to reshape the destination and enhance the experience of both visitors and residents. Furthermore, Segarra has encouraged the greater Palm Beaches community, including tourism partners, leaders, elected officials, businesses, and residents, to participate actively in the upcoming planning process.
“We want our community and stakeholders to know that tourism is not just about the visitor experience; it is also a vital component that supports the quality of life for residents and local businesses,” Segarra says. “Palm Beach County is poised for an incredible transformation with ample opportunities, and we want to align ourselves with the desires and needs of our community and craft our future together. Discover The Palm Beaches is creating meaningful brand evolution with revolutionary marketing technologies to maintain and expand our market share in a more engaged and holistic approach that will benefit the entire county while charting a roadmap for the growth and modification of our destination’s infrastructure.”
According to data released by DTPB, The Palm Beaches is set to experience another record-breaking year with an estimated 9.5 million visitors in 2023. The forecast also predicts a visitor spending of $7 billion, with moderate growth expected to continue in 2024. The organization stated that the tourism industry plays an increasingly important role in the economy and quality of life of all residents in Palm Beach County, contributing to over 85,000 jobs in the local workforce and having an economic impact of $10 billion. The Palm Beaches plans to welcome 17 new hotels with 2,372 rooms by 2026, contributing to the overall destination growth and providing residents with new meeting and experience options. It is worth noting that the tourism industry’s “trickle-down” effect touches every sector of the local economy.
The Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council (TDC) and all TDC agencies are currently in the last stages of selecting a consulting company to help execute a tourism master plan. The plan aims to provide a 20-year visionary roadmap for the region’s travel market, with contributions from tourism partners and community members. It will address tourism-related product development needs, identify opportunities for investors and businesses, establish workforce development and diversity initiatives, and bridge the gap between demand and supply for visitors, residents, and stakeholders to maintain and enhance Palm Beach County’s travel market position.
Regarding hotel development, DTPB sees a second convention center hotel as crucial to establishing The Palm Beaches as a strong contender in the mid-tier convention and meetings market. This would enable the destination to attract and host larger groups and meetings while maximizing the convention center’s use and significantly boosting the area’s economic impact. In line with this, Palm Beach County has released a request for a proposal for a second headquarters hotel in the convention center district. The aim is to develop at least 600 additional rooms, as suggested by a comprehensive study endorsed by the County Commission in 2020.