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Thursday, 17 February 2022 21:47

2021 Saw Highest Level of Visitors to Florida in State History Featured

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Florida welcomed more visitors in 2021 than in any other year in recorded state history – nearly 118 million people.

Florida’s total hotel revenue also reached its highest level in state history of $17.3 billion, a 2% increase from 2019.

Last quarter, from October to December, Florida welcomed 30.9 million people, marking the second consecutive quarter that overall visitation surpassed pre-pandemic tourism/travel levels in 2019. This represents a 61.9% increase from the last quarter of 2020.

The majority, 29 million, were domestic travelers, an increase of 57% from the last quarter of 2020 and 7% increase from the last quarter of 2019.

Travelers “flocked to Florida as a refuge from lockdown policies,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said when announcing new data published by VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s tourism agency.

“In Florida, we put freedom first, and as a result people are choosing to vacation in our state from across the country and the world to escape lockdowns, including the politicians who advocated for those reckless policies and who are often spotted vacationing here,” he said. “While tourism in other states is only just beginning to recover, Florida is at the front of the pack – now we are surpassing pre-pandemic levels and setting new visitation records.”

“We are thrilled to cap off an incredible year with more record-breaking success for Florida’s tourism industry,” Dana Young, president and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said. “Overall visitation not only exceeded 2019’s for the second quarter in a row, but domestically reached the highest point in our state’s history. We also saw a significant rebound in international travel, including record visitation from Colombia that has made it now Florida’s No. 1 international origin market. VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing continues to drive results on behalf of Florida’s tourism economy, and we are looking forward to taking this success to new heights in 2022 and beyond.”

Approximately 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Florida in the last quarter of 2021, a 198% increase from the last quarter of 2020.

Canadian visitors reached 359,000 in the last quarter of 2021, nearly three times as many as in the previous quarter.

Total enplanements at 19 Florida airports were up 108.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to 2020, with domestic enplanements up by 105.4% over the same time period. Miami had the largest number of enplaned passengers of 5.83 million, an increase of 150.5%; Orlando had 5.77 million, an increase of 114.7%. Seven airports saw an increase in enplanements compared to 2019, with Sarasota and Key West seeing the most significant growth, up 65.6% and 58.6%, respectively.

Bethany Blankley
The Center Square

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