Florida has just announced record figures for tourism in the spring period this year. July statistics have also posted excellent results and consequently, the Sunshine State looks well on track for its target of 100 million visitors this year.
Florida has long been renowned as one of America’s top tourist spots – its long list of attractions has drawn visitors from the world over for decades. The combination of the best theme parks in the world, miles of beautiful beaches, stunning natural surroundings and a wide range of sporting activities continues to attract new and returning tourists.
According to estimates from the state tourist department Visit Florida, in the spring holiday period (April to June) Florida received around 24 million visitors. This is a 3.1 per cent increase on the same period last year and confirms the rise in interest in Florida as a holiday destination. Overseas tourism saw a significant rise – the over 2.8 million foreigners who travelled to Florida equals a rise of 6.2 per cent on 2013. Visitor spending has also seen a marked increase this year and reached US$35.7 million between January and May, over 7 per cent more than the same period in 2013.
Visitors increased throughout the state with some areas experiencing particularly good figures. Jacksonville is one such case and the city enjoyed its best spring period ever in terms of visitor figures and has just recorded historic highs for hotel occupancy and daily room rates in July. The local tourist board attributes the increases to their latest marketing campaign that promotes the city as an all-round destination with something for everyone – beach lovers, outdoor types, festival goers and city sightseers.
Tourism is a pillar of the Florida economy and a major factor in job creation. During the spring period some 43,600 new jobs were created in the tourism sector in the state, a nearly 4 per cent increase on last year. In total, over 1.1 million people in Florida work in tourism.
Commenting on the spectacular tourism figures, Governor Scott said that the “record quarter for visitation is great news for Florida families” and that the state was “creating an opportunity economy and continuing to grow more jobs for Floridians”. Both the increase in tourism and in employment opportunities in the sector have significant impact on the Florida property market where demand for homes (both resale and rental) is already considerably lower than supply.
Source: The Florida Times