DAYTONA BEACH — Amid the unprecedented tourism impact of the coronavirus pandemic worldwide, Volusia County attracted 7.2 million visitors in 2020, a 28% decline from the 10 million recorded for pre-pandemic 2019.

The county’s visitor total, announced at an event to mark National Travel & Tourism Week on Friday at Hard Rock Hotel, is the lowest since 2010, according to Evelyn Fine, president of Mid-Florida Marketing & Research.

Yet, considering the catastrophic downturn in a global travel industry that essentially shut-down for much of the past year, the resilience of the county’s tourism industry was celebrated on Friday.

Dana Young, president and CEO of Visit Florida, speaks to a gathering of Volusia County hospitality industry representatives at an event to mark National Travel & Tourism Week on Friday at Hard Rock Hotel. Seated to her left, Tim Buckley, of the Ocean Center, and Joanne Magley, of Daytona Beach International Airport, listen to her update on Florida tourism.

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Volusia County Council member Danny Robins read a proclamation that recognized the industry for attracting visitors that spent $3.4 billion in 2020 to account for 35-40% of the county’s sales tax revenue, as well as generating employment for roughly 31,700 workers with a collective payroll of $51.5 million.

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