Research funded by Visit Jacksonville and conducted by a team from the University of North Florida shows that visitors from outside the Jacksonville community accounted for 64 percent of all attendees to the inaugural Florida Country Superfest and generated $23.2 million in economic impact to the city.
The UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory team, led by faculty director Michael Binder, surveyed 412 Florida Country Superfest attendees and asked them a series of questions to develop a demographic and economic profile of visitors to the event. The research identified 43,300 unique attendees who purchased 75,000 tickets, with 27,400 of them coming from outside of Duval County.
"We knew prior to the event that tickets had been purchased in all 50 states and even internationally, so we were expecting a big impact from out-of-town visitors to the inaugural Florida Country Superfest, but still, we are beyond pleased to see just how positive that impact was ," said Paul Astleford, president and CEO of Visit Jacksonville.
Highlights from the visitor research include the following:
- Estimated event-related visitor hotel nights in the region: 16,000
- Average length of the visitor's hotel stay: 2.39 days
- Average number of visitors per room: 2.55 visitors
- Estimated number of visitors staying in hotel lodgings: 17,000
- Average daily visitor spending: $241
- Estimated direct and indirect economic impact of visitors: $23.2 million
"The great success of Country Superfest shows that Jacksonville continues to gain strong momentum as a premier destination for major sports and entertainment events," said Mayor Alvin Brown. "When we have people coming here from all 50 states to attend this event, it has a major economic benefit for our community."
The research found that 88 percent of the 27,400 out of town visitors said they were "very or somewhat likely" to come back to downtown Jacksonville after visiting for the Florida Country Superfest. The event overwhelmingly attracted tourists from "drive markets," with 87 percent of attendees coming in their personal vehicles.
"The success of the Florida Country Superfest in its first year lived up to, and even exceeded, everyone's expectations," said Quint Davis, producer and director of the Superfest. "Working together with SMG at the stadium, the Mayor's Office, the city's Sports and Entertainment Office, the (Tourist Development Council), the Jacksonville hospitality industry, the Jaguars and the entire local business community, we will endeavor to make the Superfest the annual event it clearly deserves to be."