Governor Rick Scott today announced the launch of two VISIT FLORIDA Hurricane Michael assistance programs to aid local tourism businesses in the counties that were included in the FEMA major disaster declaration on October 11. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott Announces the Launch of Tourism Assistance Programs Following Hurricane Michael
Governor Rick Scott today announced that VISIT FLORIDA has developed and launched an extensive new marketing campaign to highlight the Sunshine State. This multi-phased campaign includes more than $5.1 million to support the Panhandle following Hurricane Michael and nearly $3.8 million to assist the areas impacted by naturally-occurring red tide. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott: VISIT FLORIDA Launches Nearly $9 Million Marketing Plan Following Hurricane Michael, Red Tide
65.5 million visitors came to Florida in first half of 2018
Governor Rick Scott today announced Florida set another record in tourism by welcoming the highest amount of visitors during any six months in the state’s history with 65.5 million visitors. [Read more…] about Gov. Scott: Florida Continues to Break Visitation Records
Governor Rick Scott today announced that Florida welcomed an all-time record 33.2 million visitors to the Sunshine State in the first quarter of 2018. This represents an increase of 7.4 percent over the same period in 2017 and is the largest quarter for visitation in Florida history.
Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Florida set an all-time record by welcoming over 33 million visitors to our state during the first quarter of 2018. This historic tourism number represents a 7.4 percent increase over last year and demonstrates the momentum that our state has built. Since December 2010, Florida has created more than 1.5 million jobs, and a large part of this growth is because of the incredible success of our state’s tourism industry. I appreciate the team at VISIT FLORIDA and their help making these historic numbers possible.”
VISIT FLORIDA estimates that a record 29.1 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in Q1 2018, an 8.5 percent increase in domestic visitors over the same period last year. Following efforts by VISIT FLORIDA and Governor Scott to better market Florida visitation in Canada, 1.4 million Canadians came to Florida in Q1 2018, an increase of 2.5 percent from Q1 2017, continuing Florida’s strong growth of 4 percent in calendar year 2017. Total enplanements at Florida’s 18 major airports in Q1 2018 increased 7.6 percent over the same period the previous year, with Orlando International Airport reporting the most enplaned passengers at nearly 6 million. Of total enplanements, 80.1 percent were domestic, up 1.4 million compared to Q1 of last year. The number of rooms sold and the hotel occupancy rate in Q1 2018 also grew by 3.3 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.
Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “This record setting quarter of 33.2 million visitors to our state, the largest quarter in our state’s history, shows that VISIT FLORIDA is marketing our state like never before. With the help of our 12,000 industry partners, we saw a historic 7.4 percent increase over last year, which is fantastic news. We will continue developing more innovative and cutting-edge marketing programs to build on this success across the country and across the world. I am very proud of our team’s efforts as we continue to market Florida as the number one global destination.”
To view additional Florida visitor data, go the research page on VISIT FLORIDA’s media website.
116.5 million visitors came to Florida in 2017
Governor Rick Scott today announced that Florida set another tourism record in 2017 by welcoming the highest number of visitors in any year in the state’s history with 116.5 million visitors, according to VISIT FLORIDA. This represents a 3.6 percent increase over the 112.4 million visitors in 2016.
Governor Scott said, “Today, I am proud to announce that Florida has continued our record-breaking success by welcoming more than 116 million visitors in 2017. Because of VISIT FLORIDA’s aggressive marketing efforts to make sure families across the world knew that Florida was open to visitors following Hurricane Irma, we are able to celebrate another record-breaking year for tourism. This is especially great news for the 1.4 million jobs that rely on our growing tourism industry. We will continue to market our state as the number one global destination for tourism.”
VISIT FLORIDA estimates that a record 116.5 million visitors traveled to Florida in 2017, an increase of 3.6 percent over last year. This number breaks down to 102.3 million domestic visitors, 10.7 million overseas visitors and 3.5 million Canadian visitors coming to the Sunshine State. Total enplanements at Florida’s 18 major airports in 2017 increased 4.1 percent over the same period the previous year, with 87.2 million passengers. The number of hotel rooms sold in Florida during 2017 grew by 4.6 percent compared to quarter four 2016. During the same period, Florida’s average daily room rate (ADR) increased by 2.6 percent and occupancy by 3.2 percent.
Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “Florida welcomed a record 116.5 million visitors in 2017, which is great news for our state. Because of the cutting-edge marketing programs at VISIT FLORIDA, particularly following Hurricane Irma, we were able to increase total visitation by 3.6 percent over last year, resulting in billions of dollars in revenue for the state. We are continuing to aggressively market the Sunshine State to the rest of the country and the rest of the world.”
Maryann Ferenc, Board Chair of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “I would like to offer gratitude to the Governor and the Legislature for funding VISIT FLORIDA, the VISIT FLORIDA team for their successful efforts, the tourism industry for creating a Florida that people want to visit and residents for creating the real welcome. Alignment at the local, state and national level have created prosperity in Florida!”
Carol Dover, President and CEO of Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), said, “Given all the Sunshine State has to offer as a vacation destination, it comes as no surprise that each year, Florida continues to attract visitors in record numbers, however this welcomed outcome is incredible considering the tough year our state has faced in the wake of Hurricane Irma and validates the state’s sound investment in tourism marketing. FRLA salutes the diligent efforts of VISIT FLORIDA, as well as our hospitality industry partners, who work in concert to ensure Florida remains competitive as a leading global destination. Visitors are not only enjoying our hotels and restaurants, they’re simultaneously boosting state and local revenues, and supporting 1.4 million industry jobs across the state.”
Florida set another record despite losing 1.8 million visitors due to Hurricane Irma, according to a recent report commissioned by VISIT FLORIDA. The impact report of Hurricane Irma shows that it cost the state 1.8 million visitors. An estimated 34.9 million out-of-state visitors came to Florida in the final four months of 2017. In the “no hurricane” model, Florida would have hosted 36.7 million visitors during that same time period. Additionally, Irma resulted in a loss of $1.5 billion in visitor spending, with $1.1 billion attributable to domestic visitors and $400 million for international visitors. Visitation was hit hardest in September, with visitation falling 13.5 percent relative to anticipated growth. However, losses were drastically reduced by October, and even more so in the following months. VISIT FLORIDA’s Post-Irma Marketing Campaign helped curb the effects of Irma on visitation, with an estimated 358 million impressions in the month following Irma.
VISIT FLORIDA estimates that a record 28.5 million visitors traveled to Florida in the fourth quarter of 2017, an increase of 5.5 percent over the same period last year. This Q4 number breaks down to 25.0 million domestic visitors, 2.8 million overseas visitors and 705,000 Canadian visitors coming to the Sunshine State. Total enplanements at Florida’s 18 major airports in Q4 2017 increased 6.7 percent over the same period the previous year, with 21.7 million passengers. The number of hotel rooms sold in Florida during quarter four of 2017 grew by 8.1 percent compared to quarter four 2016. During the same period, Florida’s average daily room rate (ADR) increased by 5.4 percent and occupancy by 7.0 percent.
To view the full Hurricane Irma Impact Report, click HERE.
To view additional Florida visitor data, click HERE.
*Preliminary estimates are issued 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. Final estimates are released when final data are received for all estimates in the report.
This Thursday, February 15th, Governor Rick Scott will announce Florida’s 2017 visitation numbers during a multi-city tourism tour in Juno Beach, Tampa and Naples. Florida welcomed an all-time record 112 million visitors in 2016. VISIT FLORIDA works each day to market Florida as the world’s premier tourism destination, and the state’s six-straight record-breaking years of visitation have directly coincided with the marketing resources and funding championed by Governor Scott.
This year, VISIT FLORIDA was funded at $76 million, and the governor has recommended $100 million for VISIT FLORIDA as part of his 2018-2019 Securing Florida’s Future budget. Currently, the Florida Senate has proposed $50 million and the Florida House has proposed $76 million for VISIT FLORIDA during the ongoing legislative session.
WHAT: Tourism Numbers Announcement
WHERE: Juno Beach, Tampa, Naples
Additional details will be announced in the coming days.
Please see below a statement from Governor Rick Scott regarding the Florida Senate’s proposal to cut VISIT FLORIDA’s funding to $50 million, a reduction of $26 million from this year’s funding.
“I completely oppose the Florida Senate’s proposal to cut VISIT FLORIDA’s budget by a third. I will fight to protect the 1.4 million jobs that rely on Florida’s tourism industry by making sure that VISIT FLORIDA gets $100 million this year. After the devastating hurricane season we faced last year, we shouldn’t be playing games with our state’s tourism industry.” – Governor Rick Scott
Governor Rick Scott today announced the kick-off of the new Canadian Power Play Program, which aims to attract more Canadian visitors to Florida by making it more affordable for Canadian families to travel to the state. Package travel deals from VISIT FLORIDA partners with discounts of 20 percent will be available to Canadian travelers through the program. This follows the decline of Canadian visitation to Florida in recent years and directly addresses concerns from Canadian families regarding the current exchange rate between the U.S. and Canada. Twenty-six Florida businesses and tourism partners will be participating in the Canadian Power Play Program. Travel deals will be available for Canadians at LoveFlorida.ca. Governor Scott made the announcement with VISIT FLORIDA in Toronto as part of his ongoing tourism and trade mission to Canada.
Governor Scott said, “I’m proud to announce the Canadian Power Play Program, which will help make it more affordable for Canadians to travel to Florida. With discounts on flights, car rentals and travel accommodations, more Canadians will be able to enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer. As Florida’s number one international tourist market, Canada is so important to Florida’s tourism industry and the 1.4 million jobs it supports for families across our state. We will keep working every day to attract 120 million visitors this year and make Florida the number one global destination.”
Discounts from Florida businesses and tourism partners include:
- Air Canada
- Air Canada Vacations
- An Owners Dream Management
- Beachwalk Resort
- Beacon South Beach Hotel
- Blue Heron Beach Resort
- Caprice Resort
- Coca-Cola Orlando Eye
- DoubleTree Orlando at SeaWorld
- Emerald Grande
- Florida Citrus Sports
- Hampton Inn Panama City Beach
- HCV Orange Lake Resort
- Hertz/Dollar Car Rental
- Madeira Bay Resort by TRS
- Magic Village Resort
- Marenas Beach Resort
- Residence Inn Miami Aventura
- ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals
- Sailport Waterfront Suites
- Sandestin Golf and BeachResort
- Sundial Beach Resort & Spa
- Suwannee River Hideaway Campground
- The Don Cesar Hotel
- TreeUmph! Adventure Course
- Xtreme Action Park
Canada remains Florida’s number one international market, with 3.3 million Canadians traveling to Florida in 2016, which accounts for 23 percent of Florida’s international visitors. In total, Canadian visitors spent $3.6 billion in Florida in 2016. The announcement of the Canadian Power Play Program comes during VISIT FLORIDA’s ongoing Canadian Power Play marketing campaign and the time many Canadian travelers begin planning for upcoming tourism, with 40 percent of Florida’s Canadian visitors traveling in the winter months of January through March.
VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO Ken Lawson said, “Canada is Florida’s top international market, and we are doubling down on our efforts to bring more Canadians to the Sunshine State with our new Canadian Power Play Program. By allowing Canadian consumers to take advantage of discounts from our great partners, we are making it easier than ever for them to book a trip to Florida. With our Canadian Power Play Program, Florida Day in Toronto and our Canadian Power Play marketing campaign this week, we are showing Canada why Florida is the best place in the world to travel.”
Tomorrow, November 1st, Governor Rick Scott will be holding a press conference with VISIT FLORIDA CEO Ken Lawson to make a tourism announcement.
WHAT: Press Conference
WHEN: 10:00 AM
WHERE: Union Station, Go York Concourse
65 Front Street West
Toronto, ON M5J 1E6, Canada
Governor Rick Scott directed VISIT FLORIDA to launch an aggressive new marketing campaign to highlight Florida following Hurricane Irma. Last year, Florida welcomed a record of nearly 113 million visitors to the state. In 2017, Florida is working to break this record and welcome more than 120 million visitors. The campaign will be multi-phased and include digital, social, broadcast and traditional components in both domestic and international markets. The Governor’s top focus remains the many communities in the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida still recovering from Irma and campaigns promoting these specific areas will be launched at a later date.
Governor Scott said, “As communities around Florida continue to recover from Hurricane Irma, we are doing everything possible to help families and businesses get back on their feet and get people back to work. While our top focus remains on the recovery of Florida families, especially those in the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida, we cannot forget about the many communities which rely on Florida’s incredible tourism industry and millions of visitors. With more than 1.4 million Floridians working in the tourism industry, we must aggressively fight to bring visitors back to our communities.”
Ken Lawson, President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA said, “Following Hurricane Irma, it’s more important than ever for us to spread the word that the coast is clear and the Sunshine State is open for business. At Governor Scott’s direction, we have put together an aggressive marketing plan that showcases sunshine, blue skies and good times at over 12,000 industry businesses across the state. I want to thank Governor Scott for his leadership as we work to let the world to know that Florida is still the number one place to visit.”