Tourism, Communities and the growing Hotel Industry Fort Lauderdale is one of South Florida’s premier destinations for tourism, as evidenced by its annual average of 12 million visitors. Since 1950s, Fort Lauderdale has been a prime spot for spring breaks, summer getaways, and in recent times, cruise, yacht and nautical activities. At the center of all this is Fort Lauderdale’s booming hotel industry. The tourism and hotel industries are symbiotic; tourists need a place to stay, and hotels need people to stay in them. The trick is finding the right balance between new hotel construction and average annual tourism increase. If there are not enough new hotels being constructed to meet demand, there is a shortage that causes potential tourists to rethink their vacation plans. Finding that balance supports the industry, and it provides an important economic and social boon to the residents and local communities in cities like Fort Lauderdale. The benefits afforded by a booming tourist industry are immediate and impactful. More money comes into the city, empowering small business and artisans who are sure to have a regular annual customer base. That money goes into the community, where it improves the general standard of living. It also helps fund local government projects. Under the right circumstances, thriving tourism and hotel industries allow their communities to thrive, as well. How Hotel Construction and Tourism Rates Interact Tourism, as previously mentioned, requires hotels. More available hotels means more potential tourists. Fort Lauderdale plays host to approximately 12 million visitors, nearly three million of whom are international, annually. After a 2012 census, it was found that hotels in greater Fort Lauderdale averaged about a 72 percent occupation rate year-round, across the 561 hotels in the area. Fort Lauderdale is no stranger to tourism, and that is reflected in their huge hotel industry. In order to maintain this industry, balance must be achieved. Hotel construction must happen to drive tourist interest in the city, keeping hotel prices reasonable and offering new and exciting options to tourists considering Fort Lauderdale as a vacation spot. Hotel construction also cannot exceeded the expected annual increase in tourism by so much that there are too many hotels, or the price for a night will be too low. If hotel construction is too limited, prices will be too high, and eventually, there will not be enough rooms for potential tourists, who will take their money elsewhere instead of spending it in communities in Fort Lauderdale. This balancing act is something that the hotel moguls of Fort Lauderdale have come to master, and it is why there has been tourist interest in Fort Lauderdale since 1950s.