Florida’s latest tourism numbers just dropped, what it means for the state

Visit Florida has dropped the latest numbers for our state’s tourism, and they show a dip in travelers.

In the second quarter of 2023, the State of Florida saw a little more than 33 million visitors. It’s keeping us on pace to beat out our record from last year, but we have 1.2% fewer tourists compared to what we saw during the same time last year.

“We figured that we would start to even out and become more manageable because the numbers from 22 were just not sustainable,” explained Stacy Ritter.

Ritter is with Visit Lauderdale, and she said they were expecting a slower summer. The reasons as to why we have had one vary.

“From what I am told,” stated Ritter. “Americans are crawling all over Europe. There’s a lot of pent-up demand for people who have been there for years. I also think there is some Florida over-saturation. For a couple of years, we were the only place you could come with no competition, so people came, and they came back and back again. But now they can go everywhere.”

Why they are choosing to go elsewhere also varies.

We spoke to Ritter last month when roughly 10 convention events had pulled out of Greater Fort Lauderdale. Now they are up to 13 since May. Ritter shared the businesses have cited the state’s political climate and controversial policies coming from the governor’s office.

During the start of this year, we also saw groups like the NAACP and Equality Florida issuing travel advisories, telling travelers to reconsider coming to Florida because of tensions regarding African American studies and DEI curriculum in the state, as well as new policies.

The CEO of Visit Florida told the Orlando Sentinel that those reasons did not play a meaningful role in the lowered numbers during the second quarter, saying:

“We are continuing to see a very diverse group of vacationers that are coming to Florida,” they are spending money here, supporting our state economy. We value all of them, and we continue to encourage people to come.”

Ritter attested to that, “As it relates to group business, we actually poll higher in LGBTQ and multicultural group business than does our competitive set.”

According to the numbers, in Q2, most of Florida’s international tourists were from Canada, followed by the United Kingdom.

As for what those in the tourism industry are hoping to see next, hopefully, a busy winter, “We expect it will even out, it will be similar to 22, if we collect a half a million or a million dollars less of TDT, in calendar 23 compared to 22, we will consider it a very successful year,” stated Ritter.

https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/state/floridas-latest-tourism-numbers-just-dropped-what-it-means-for-the-state Florida’s latest tourism numbers just dropped, what it means for the state

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