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Recap: 7/24/20 COVID-19 Industry Partner Call

Dear Industry Partners:

Thanks to those who joined today’s call. Plan on 9 a.m. Friday, July 31, for the next call. Watch for an invitation with the details.

Here is the call summary: 

Ktimene Axetell, Vice President of Insights, Arrivalist, a location-based data company, said she works with 17 Florida destinations, including VISIT FLORIDA. Arrivalist shares trends of who Lee County’s visitors are, using data from phones and vehicle GPS devices. Her report focused on trips 50 miles from home and overnight trips.

Tremendous increase in June overnights helped to make up for earlier losses. Lee County is gaining a competitive share and being a recipient of the substitution effect for other destinations. In terms of the origin markets, there’s a shift toward in-state visitors, 6 in 10 vs. less than half, year over year. Kentucky and Tennessee visitors are having longer length of stays, and she encouraged partners to provide ways to get these visitors to stay an extra day. View the entire report

Rafael Feliciano, Food Idea Group Inc., “Save September” promotion, presented information about the month-long, food-centric event taking place in Lee and Collier counties that gives patrons the opportunity to “Take-out, Dine-in & Give Back.” He anticipates 50 to 100 restaurants participating. Guests would receive a 25% discount on a takeout order and receive a 25% discount for dine-in to be used within 25 days. Feliciano is partnering with the Lee and Collier county chapters of Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Florida Gulf Coast University’s Resort and Hospitality Management Program and Hope for Hospitality Fund. Questions can be emailed to Facebook: SaveSeptemberSWFL

Tamara Pigott, Executive Director, Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, shared highlights from the July 23 update of the U.S. Travel Association’s Weekly Coronavirus Impact on Travel Expenditures in the U.S. She noted that nationally, with the exception of the boost seen around the July 4 holiday weekend, travel spending growth has slowed, seeing just a 9% increase compared to four weeks ago. There has been a shift in type of travel compared to last week, as air trips fell 4% but was compensated by an 8% increase in car trips. Since the beginning of March, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in $297 billion in losses for the U.S. travel economy. For the week of July 18, Florida travel spending was down 50%. View the entire report.

STR Report for the week of July 12-18:

Occupancy: 46.5, down 32.6%
ADR (Average Daily Rate): $133.07, up 4.5%
RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): $61.90, down 29.6%

The application window for Lee County's Individual Assistance Program reopens Monday, July 27. Under the program, assistance with rent, mortgage or utilities (water and electric) may be provided if an individual has an unexpected loss of income due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order, including loss of job or reduced work hours. Payment for those who qualify are made directly to the landlord, mortgage company and/or utility company. Household income must be less than $55,100 a year for a household of four, or up to $72,750 for a household of eight at the time of application. Assistance is limited to only one-time per household and assistance cannot exceed $2,000.

The Individual Assistance Program is one of a group of programs that commissioners approved for using funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Lee County is investing $57.5 million in Human & Business Services to provide immediate assistance for individuals, families and businesses. Visit

Stay in touch and let us know if we can help. Visit for updates. Thank you for all you do. Have a safe weekend.

Tamara Pigott
Executive Director
Lee County VCB

The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel

2201 Second Street, Suite 600 | Fort Myers, Fl 33901
Toll Free 800.237.6444 | Local 239.338.3500

Sanibel & Captiva Islands
Fort Myers Beach
Fort Myers
Bonita Springs
Cape Coral
Pine Island
Boca Grande & Outer Islands
North Fort Myers
Lehigh Acres

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 2nd street, STE 600 Fort Myers, FL 33901
phone: (239) 338-3500 | toll free: (800) 237-6444


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