Tourism in Manatee up 10.2 percent in first 9 months of 2013

skennedy@bradenton.comDecember 9, 2013 

Manatee Public Beach is a popular spot for visitors to Anna Maria Island. OTROY MORGAN/Photos From The Air

MANATEE — The economic impact of tourism in Manatee County hit $566 million in the first nine months of 2013, an increase of 10.2 percent over the same period last year, a tourism expert said Monday.

“It has been a very successful season, a very successful third quarter,” Walter Klages, president and chief executive officer of Research Data Services of Tampa Inc., reported to the Tourist Development Council, meeting at Holmes Beach.

Klages also predicted that as European countries begin to recover from recession, they will provide more tourists during coming months.

“We are looking at strong growth, both in the UK (United Kingdom) and on the continent, in 2014,” he told the council.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.

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