Tourism is a HUGE part of Florida’s economy.
From miles of beaches to several theme parks, the state brings in a ton of people for vacations. The global pandemic had a big impact on tourism in Florida last year, but since then, numbers have started to recover. And now, Florida tourism is WAY up compared to last year.
Florida had 31.7 million visitors in the second quarter of 2021, according to the Orlando Sentinel. That’s a 16.3% improvement from the first 3 months of 2021 and 223.4% above the second quarter of 2020. Most of these were domestic visitors, which were 30.563 million of that total number.
The Sentinel said the visitor numbers from April 1st through June 30th of 2021 were only 2.2% less than the numbers from the second quarter in 2019.
Air travel data compiled by Visit Florida shows that Orlando International Airport had the highest passenger volume of all of the airports in Florida last quarter at 5.4 million passengers total. The second highest was Miami International Airport at 4.8 million passengers.
Orlando International Airport’s total passenger numbers from last quarter were a 677.9% increase from the second quarter in 2020, which only saw about 700,000 passengers. Orlando Sanford International Airport also saw an increase — they went up by 239% with a little over 336,000 passengers total.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Dana Young, the president and CEO of Visit Florida, said in a statement that this growth represents an “incredible achievement for our state’s economic recovery” that she credited in part to marketing efforts done by her agency.
Florida’s tourism recovery has done well in part because of other states shutting down tourism marketing efforts for most of 2020 due to the pandemic closing tourist attractions and hotels.
But, the road to recovery is not without obstacles, as Florida has been one of the hottest spots for COVID-19 cases in the country. The increase in cases lead to Disney World requiring masks indoors again for all guests. Stay tuned to DFB for more news and updates.