Fewer Tourists Spending Down

TAMPA -

The economic slow-down has meant shrinking sales tax revenues and fewer tourists visiting Hillsborough County. And experts expect the trend to continue.

There was an estimated 1 percent drop in visitors to Hillsborough in 2007. Visitor spending also decreased 1.5 percent according to a report by Tampa Bay & Company.

Dr. Mark Bonn conducted the annual visitors study for the non-profit tourism organization. He says the area went through a similar slow down after 9-11 in 2001.

During hard economic periods, visitors still take vacations, but their trips are shorter and their spending fluctuates according to Bonn. 'They tend to do things such as buy down.'

Another number that is down is the number of people taking a cruise. Almost 20 percent fewer passengers went through the Port of Tampa in 2007 compared with the previous year.

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