If you’re an American loathing the state of Florida over their lack of COVID mandates, you’re also missing out on one of the hottest spots in the nation.
According to a report from Fox 13, Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young announced Wednesday that data on recent tourism trends showcased a skyrocketing leisure industry in Florida, fueled by citizens’ positive outlook on the state that has rebounded faster than the rest of the nation during the pandemic.
“2021, we have only third-quarter numbers, but already we’re exceeding those 2019 numbers, that’s how well Florida is doing,” Young noted. “People see Florida as a bright shining vestige of freedom in this country.”
Amid a surge in Omicron, tourists have confidently visited the Sunshine State and embraced the freeing experience, providing a contrast to heavily restricted tourism spots in New York and California.
“The leisure market is on fire,” declared Young.
Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada additionally detailed the state’s booming lodging industry.
“April 2020 was the worst tourism month in the history of Hillsborough County, fast-forward to April 2021, the best April of all time, and we’ve been breaking records every month since April of ‘21 through today. So it is pretty remarkable,” Corrada said.
Initial forecasts predicted that Omicron would slow down Florida’s 2021 tourism hot streak heading into 2022, but the arrows keep pointing up.
Americans aren’t the only ones making the trek to Florida during COVID.
“Most recently, I think we saw some rise in travel, especially from Latin America, but that’s always been pretty consistent over the last year and a half during the pandemic,” Visit Florida Chief Marketing Officer Staci Mellman said. “I think the numbers were less than what we anticipated from Europe.”
Joining the pilgrimage to Governor Ron DeSantis’ state is New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — traveling to Florida for a New Years’ getaway despite past criticisms of DeSantis’ handling of COVID.
Join in on the Sunshine State hype with your own OutKick ‘Make America Florida‘ shirt.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela