It’s no secret that tourism is a HUGE industry in the state of Florida.
With major theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, miles of beautiful beaches, and a host of other activities, Florida attracts visitors from all over the world. The coronavirus pandemic had a big impact on traveling last year, but just how badly did it hurt Florida? Today, we found out.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida saw a 34% drop in visitors in 2020 as compared to the previous year. These numbers come courtesy of Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing agency.
According to Visit Florida, the state saw 86.714 million visitors in 2020, which is the lowest number of visitors they’ve had in a year since 2010. About 20.625 million of those travelers came in the 4th quarter, and according to Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young, these numbers “exceeded our expectations.”
The agency also noted that “the numbers provided below are likely to face larger-than-normal revisions as new data become available” due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic. Young issued a statement saying that many guests from the Southeast traveled to Florida thanks to Visit Florida’s advertising campaigns. She shared, “Visit Florida’s marketing has been integral to Florida’s economic recovery and will continue to propel our tourism industry forward in 2021.”
Tourism numbers had been steadily growing in Florida from 2009 to 2019, with the state getting more than 100 million visitors each year since 2015. The future of the Visit Florida agency is up in the air, with Florida’s government officials debating on whether or not to continue spending the money on a statewide marketing campaign.
The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee has made a proposal that would allow Visit Florida to rollover unused money from budget year to budget year, but not all are in favor of this plan. In 2020, the agency’s operations were extended for the next 3 years and they received $50 million in state funding, due to the need for tourism in Florida following the pandemic.
We’ll make sure to keep an eye on any more details regarding Florida’s tourism numbers. These numbers and marketing tactics can have an impact on travel to theme parks in the future, so stay tuned to DFB for the latest news.
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Have you been to Florida in the last year? Let us know in the comments!