National Visitors Pace Florida’s Tourism Industry Recovery | Florida

(The Center Square) – Domestic travel to Florida between April and June is expected to increase significantly from the same quarter in 2020, when a “non-essential business” lockdown from mid-March to May devastated the Sunshine’s $ 90 State billions of tourism and hospitality industries.

But more than doubling national visits from April to June 2020, while also inducing an eight-fold increase in the number of international travelers, was far more than what the state’s marketing agency, Visit Florida, had expected. last year around this time this year.

According to Visit Florida, 31.7 million travelers visited the Sunshine State between April and June, the second quarter of 2021 (2Q 2021). Of these, around 30.6 million were from the United States, an increase of 216% over 2Q 2020 and 6% more than in 2Q 2019.

Governor Ron DeSantis lifted emergency trade restrictions from mid-March to May 2020 as part of a three-tier plan that essentially reopened the state in June, the start of 3Q 20 and, said the governor, Florida’s economic recovery from the pandemic as well as overbreadth regulation.

DeSantis said Visit Florida numbers validate how he handled the COVID-19 pandemic

“Florida continues to serve as an example for the country that when you reject blockages and unnecessary mandates, your economy will thrive,” DeSantis said in a statement quoted by Visit Florida.

“Not only did Florida have more visitors in the second quarter than in 2020, but the data shows that national visits have already fully returned to 2019 levels,” the governor added.

DeSantis praised the “Florida business owners for showing the greatest commitment to their employees” when up to 40% of the state’s tourism and hospitality workforce lost his job in spring 2020.

Visit Florida President / CEO Dana Young, a former state senator appointed by DeSantis to lead the $ 50 million agency, said, “The skyrocketing growth in Q2 21 is an incredible achievement for the economic recovery of our state and underlines the effectiveness of Visit Florida’s marketing.

Late last year, the agency adopted a phased stimulus package that encouraged travel within the state in the first stage, domestic travel in the second stage, and then the return of full international travel.

As part of the revival campaign targeting domestic visitors, Visit Florida is massively advertising U.S. markets within 700 miles of the state, highlighting an array of safe vacation opportunities that are travel by car or plane.

“Visit Florida remains fully focused on delivering even higher results for Florida’s tourism economy and showcasing all that our great state has to offer travelers,” said Young,

Visit Florida said it has implemented marketing campaigns with Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines / American Airline Vacations and United Airlines “to generate travel and overnight bookings” in advertising in the Midwest and Northeast markets.

“These campaigns have positioned Florida as a destination of choice for travelers across the United States and have accelerated the recovery of the state’s tourism industry,” said Visit Florida.

Visit Florida preliminary estimates that 1.1 million overseas travelers visited Florida in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 854% from last April and June.

The spike comes despite foreign travel bans, Visit Florida notes, adding: “The number of overseas travelers has not returned to pre-pandemic levels. Less than half of travelers came from overseas in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. ”

Florida welcomed nearly 15 million overseas and Canadian travelers in 2019. Such a number of international visits are not expected anytime soon.

Visit Florida says it is “proactively working to put Florida in the best possible position for the resumption of global travel,” noting that it has participated in more than “30 virtual or home events to strengthen the Florida’s competitive advantage and keeping the Sunshine State on top of mind in key markets around the world.

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