Florida Tourism numbers continue to rebound in 2021 as data from quarter two (Q2), provided by the state’s tourism marketing agency – Visit Florida, shows 31.692 million visitors from April 1st to June 30th. This is 16.3% more visitors than quarter one.
The first two quarters of 2021 show an improvement compared to quarters two, three, and four of 2020 during the pandemic, which recorded 9.92 million, 20.33 million, and 19.09 million visitors, respectively.
According to the data, the total number of visitors in Q2 of 2021 compared to the total number in Q2 of 2020 is a 223.4% increase. Specifically, 30.563 million visitors were domestic, or from other states in the U.S., 1.115 million from overseas, and 15,000 from Canada.
Again, comparing to Q2 of 2020, each category of visitors increased significantly. Domestic visitors increased 215.9%, overseas visitors increased by 854.1%, and Canadian visitors increased by 74.1%.
Visit Florida’s CEO and President, Dana Young, said at a tourism summit for the Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce last week regarding Florida’s tourism recovery, “Florida was open thanks to the leadership of our great Governor Ron DeSantis. Our businesses were able to stay open and we at Visit Florida were given the ability, through our state being open, to really get our message out there. We were the first state to do any marketing outside of our borders, and for about seven or eight months, we were the only one.”
She added, “That gave us a tremendous strategic position to now capitalize on the pent-up demand for travel. We know that we got a long way to go, but things are going very well here in Florida.”
Young cites a study by the travel agency Longwoods International that said 88% of U.S. travelers plan to take a vacation within the next six months and that 35% of those travelers are families. She notes the significance of this data in its relation to Florida because the state is the “number one vacation destination for family travel” and that it is “well-positioned to be able to take advantage of this very strong desire to travel.”
Young also said that Florida is leading the nation in hotel demand, traveler spending, and domestic air capacity. Domestic air capacity includes the number of flight routes going to Florida, which she says is 16% higher than the capacity in 2019.
Two more factors that could contribute to the continued recovery of Florida’s tourism industry is; leisure travel for vaccinated Canadians that was approved in July, and cruise ships that are scheduled to set sail from Florida ports for the first time since they were shut down because of the pandemic.
Even though the future of the state’s tourism numbers seem encouraging, the recent surge in Florida of the COVID-19 delta variant may slow down the speedy recovery that the numbers from Q1 and Q2 of 2021 represent.
– – –
Casey Owens is a contributing writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]