Did You Know: Florida Welcomed 50 Million+ Visitors in First 6 Months of 2014?
By: Melissa Roberts
Did You Know:
After four consecutive years of record-breaking tourism numbers, including two back-to-back record quarters of visitors, Florida welcomed more than 50 million visitors in the first six months of 2014?
This recent success translates to one visitor every three seconds. Consider the following:
- More people visited Florida last year than live in 34 U.S. states combined,
- Florida has seen an increase of more than 40,000 tourism-related jobs in the last quarter alone,
- We now hold a record number of more than 1 million Floridians working in the tourism industry, and
- Last year’s economic footprint for tourism was more than $76 billion.
“Florida has a lot going for it, but in order to compete in what will continue to evolve as a global tourist economy, we will need to continue seeking ways to attract more visitors and broaden our base,” said Tony Davis, Vice President of The Hertz Corporation. “While domestic travel will continue to be the foundation of our tourism industry, international business offers greater year-over-year growth in both the near- and long-term. This will mean catering to new and emerging segments of travel and making travel to our state easier. As Florida grows, infrastructure improvement will be critical.”
So Where do Florida’s Visitors Come From?
You’ve probably seen license plates from states like Georgia, New York, Texas, Alabama and Illinois- states where Florida gets its most visitors. While more than 77 million of Florida’s guests visited from the domestic U.S. last year, the fastest growing groups of visitors aren’t our American neighbors. In fact, more and more visitors are coming from Canada and overseas to vacation in the Sunshine State. Consider that when visitation from U.S. states only increased by 1.5 percent, overseas visitation increased 7.9 percent and Canadian visitation increased 4.1 percent. International visitors are flocking to Florida from Canada, Brazil, the U.K., Argentina and Venezuela—creating thousands of jobs and putting billions into Florida’s economy.
Top Origin States by Percentage of Domestic Visitors in 2012
Source: VISITFLORIDA Research
Top International Countries of Visitation to Florida in 2013
Source: VISITFLORIDA Research
The increase of overseas and Canadian travelers means a brighter future for the Sunshine State. Overseas travelers spend about $1,000 more per trip and stay about seven days longer in Florida than domestic visitors—boosting Florida’s economy every day. And sometimes these dollars turn into long-term investments. According to a Florida TaxWatch report, a repeat international visitor is more likely to buy a home in Florida or even bring their business here.
Tourism has been a fundamental component of Florida’s economy since Juan Ponce de Leon arrived more than 500 years ago. Today, travel-related employment accounts for more than a million jobs and more than $76 billion in economic impact for Florida. As Florida continues to see record-breaking visitation numbers and passes New York as the third most populous state, the Sunshine State will continue to welcome both domestic and international visitors.
Be On the Lookout:
Next month the Florida Chamber Foundation will release its Industry Analysis on tourism in conjunction with the 47th Annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Boca Raton. Click here to check out last year’s Industry Analysis.
Three Ways You Can Help Secure Florida’s Future:
- Attend the Future of Florida Forum on September 29 – October 1. With more than 20 organizations partnering with the Florida Chamber Foundation, this year’s Forum will discuss how we can move Florida forward…faster. Early registration ends this week. Click here to register.
- Provide strategic direction for Florida’s future to 2030 and beyond. For more information, contact Sal Nuzzo at 850-521-1283 or SNuzzo@FLFoundation.org.
- Tell us your story: How has your business grown through increased visitation? What opportunities do you and your business see as Florida attracts record amounts of visitors?
About the Florida Scorecard Did You Know:
The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Each week, the Florida Chamber Foundation produces a Scorecard Did You Know that takes an in-depth look at one specific statistic. If you would like additional information on the Weekly Scorecard Did You Know or on the Florida Scorecard, please contact Sal Nuzzo with the Florida Chamber Foundation at 850.521.1283 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Sal on Twitter at @SalNuzzo and the Florida Chamber Foundation at @FLChamberFDN.