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Ocala
Sunday, September 19, 2021

Tourism study shows most visit Ocala for horse events, family

A new visitor tracking report by a Tallahassee-based research company shows the majority of visitors come to Ocala for horse events or to visit family.

The report, which was released by market research firm Downs & St. Germain Research of Tallahassee, provides details on the types of visitors to the Ocala area and their main activities while here. The information was presented to the Marion County Tourist Development Council on their May 27 meeting.

According to the research firm, 32% of visitors to the area came for horse-related events, compared with 34% in 2019. In 2019, although only 21% of visitors said they came to the area to visit friends or family, that number grew to 27% in 2021.

Around 38% of those traveling to the area came from around the state, with 13% of all travelers coming from Orlando. The next closest city of origin according to the study is New York City at 6%.

The typical travel party size averaged just under 3 people, and each travel party spent an average of $377 per day in accommodations, restaurants, groceries and entertainment, among others.

Data for the visitor tracking study was collected “in person and online with 571 visitors at local hotels, attractions, and events between January 1 and March 31, 2021” according to the report.

Access the complete PDF for the Ocala/Marion County VCB Economic Impact Study & Visitor Tracking Report.