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HomeAdventureFlorida tourism numbers hit first quarter record, state says |2024

Florida tourism numbers hit first quarter record, state says |2024

Last Updated on May 17, 2024 by Silvy

Florida tourism numbers hit first quarter record, state says

International visitor numbers continue to increase

Florida tourism numbers have reached a record high in the first quarter of 2024, with an estimated 40.6 million visitors traveling to the state. This marks a 1.2% increase from the same period in 2023.

The state’s tourism agency, Visit Florida, reported that international visitor numbers continue to move closer to pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 2.13 million overseas travelers and 1.284 million Canadian visitors visiting Florida during the first quarter of 2024.

Domestic travel dominated the first-quarter numbers, with an estimated 37.187 million people traveling to Florida from other states, the most ever for a single quarter. This surge in domestic tourism was driven by visitors from other parts of the United States, accounting for more than 91% of the first-quarter numbers.

The numbers come after Governor Ron DeSantis and Visit Florida touted the state as the top domestic destination for U.S. travelers and second for international visitors. The state’s tourism industry has been recovering steadily since the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted international travel and tourism in Florida.

The first-quarter numbers for international visitors were up from just under 1.8 million during the same period in 2023, but still below the 2019 total of 2.276 million. The estimated total of Canadian visitors during the first quarter of this year was up 6.9% from the same period in 2023, but remained below the 1.446 million people who traveled from Canada during the first quarter of 2019.

The tourism industry is a significant contributor to Florida’s economy, with over 2 million Floridians employed in the hospitality industry, accounting for about one of every six jobs. Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young highlighted the importance of tourism during an April 30 appearance in Collier County, stating that the numbers are huge and that summer is a prime travel season for international visitors, primarily from Latin America and Europe.

Airport passenger boardings were up 9.4% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to 2023, with Orlando International Airport accounting for 7.6 million of the 30.2 million passengers. Miami International Airport was next at 7.5 million. Only Orlando Sanford International Airport and Daytona Beach International Airport posted decreased passenger boardings, according to the governor’s office.

Visit Florida revised overall 2023 totals from 135.108 million tourists to 140.624 million, putting 2023 ahead of the 137.409 million visitors in 2022. The state budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year includes $80 million for Visit Florida, the same amount as in the current fiscal year, which will end June 30. The Legislature has not formally sent the budget to DeSantis for his signature and vetoes.

Overall, the record tourism numbers in the first quarter of 2024 indicate a strong recovery for the state’s tourism industry, driven by both domestic and international travel.




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