Figures just released for Florida tourism during 2016 show the state continues to break records all round. Visitor numbers, tourist spending and jobs created within the sector all rose last year and Florida continues to rank among the world’s top holiday destinations.
In late February, the official tourism body Visit Florida announced its official statistics for 2016 and the figures confirmed that the Sunshine State surpassed its target of 110 million visitors for the year. Actual visitor numbers stood at 112.8 million, an impressive increase of 5.9 per cent on 2015.
Perhaps more importantly, the statistics also highlighted that Florida tourism has broken its own record for the last six consecutive years. This together with the buoyant job market and a booming property market confirm that the economy in Florida is firmly back on track.
Domestic market leads Florida tourism
Global political uncertainty and a strong dollar meant that international tourism fell slightly during 2016. However, Florida still welcomed 14.8 million foreign holidaymakers including 3.7 million Canadians.
In the domestic market, however, Florida excels. Some 98 million Americans visited Florida last year, a 7.3 per cent increase on 2015 proving that the Sunshine State continues to appeal massively to the home market.
Q4 2016, traditionally one of the quieter periods of the year for Florida tourism, saw a particularly impressive increase of 6.1 per cent on Q4 2015. A total of 27.576 million people visited the state between October and December.
Spending and jobs rise
Tourist spending forms a decisive part of Florida tourism and this too rose in 2016. In total, visitors to the state spent US$109 billion last year, up from US$108.8 billion the previous year.
Employment within the tourist sector constitutes one of the backbones of the Florida economy. In 2016, tourism continued to boost the local job opportunities with some 1.4 million jobs. This represents a 16.7 per cent increase on 2015.
Visit Florida authorities and the Florida State Governor Rick Scott all applauded the figures and underlined their importance for the state economy in general. For Roger Dow, president of the US Travel Association, “Florida has become the darling of the travel industry around not only the US, but around the world,” he said in comments to the News Herald. He believes that Florida tourism “Is hitting on all cylinders”.
“The latest Florida tourism figures confirm the state’s appeal to holidaymakers,” says Dies Poppeliers, Managing Director of BRIC Group. “This is excellent news for both the job market and owners of rental property in Florida.”
BRIC Group, an investment company specialising in global real estate opportunities, offers US real estate investments including turnkey properties in Florida and Houston, and land plots in Florida. BRIC Group is also developing The Coral resort, in Northeast Brazil, a luxury beachfront resort with land and villa investment opportunities. BRIC Group has been creating wealth for its clients since 1996 and has offices in Brazil, Dubai (consulting office), Hungary, Spain and the US.
(Sources: Visit Florida, News Herald)