WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — In a single shot, the 2022 tourism season for Walton County looks impressive.
- 5.3 Million visitors
- $7.2 Billion in economic impact
- Supported more than 47,000 tourism-related jobs
- Visitors spent an average of $889 each day, amounting to a staggering $4.8 billion in direct spending
- An average of $2,109 in tax savings per household
“We were blessed with another strong year in 2022, which is a testament to the hard work that our accommodations, restaurant, and business partners put in throughout the year,” says Matt Algarin, tourism director for the Walton County Tourism Department. “Walton County is an incredible destination and we’re proud that we can share it with our visitors, all while supporting our community through job creation and visitor spending.”
A few of these numbers changed from 2021, the most noticeable is the tourism-related jobs, which is down from 47,700.
The county expanded the tourism bed tax to include more areas of Walton County north of the beaches. The increase in residential population also changed the impact on total retail spending between visitors and locals.
Visitor spending accounted for 76 percent of all retail spending in Walton County, compared to 80.2 percent in 2021.
“Bed tax funds are also used to support various community organizations and programs, such as the South Walton Fire District’s Beach Safety/Lifeguard program, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, turtle nest monitoring, the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County, International Coastal Cleanup, the South Walton Artificial Reef Association, and various programming through the local state parks,” said Content & Public Relations Specialist Summer Padgett.
To flip the spectrum on tourism money, the county also spent $3.9 million on beach and coastal improvements in 2022. This is compared to the $2.1 million in 2021.
Crews maintain and clean 20 miles of beach, 42 miles of multi-use pathways, 10 regional beach accesses, 47 neighborhoods beach accesses, and 11 bay and lake access points.
Compare 2021 to 2022 in the flyers below.
Contact the Walton County Tourism Department online or over the phone at (850) 267-1216.