VISIT FLORIDA Working to Accelerate Tourism Recovery from COVID-19
December 23, 2020
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, VISIT FLORIDA highlighted the efforts the organization is undertaking to aid in the recovery of Florida’s tourism industry from the global COVID-19 pandemic. From January through September 2020, total Florida visitation is down 34 percent. Hotel revenue in the state, a leading indicator of economic impact, has declined by over $6.5 billion. In order to combat this and demonstrate to visitors that safe vacation opportunities abound in Florida, VISIT FLORIDA has launched several campaigns to bolster visitation.
“The innovative marketing programs that we have launched at VISIT FLORIDA have well positioned Florida’s tourism for recovery,” said Dana Young, President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “Although there is still a long way to go, we know that we simply can’t sit back and wait for visitors to magically come back to the state. We must all work collectively to welcome visitors to Florida in a safe and appropriate manner. Thank you to Governor Ron DeSantis for his work in this important effort and for the recognition that tourism can help lead our state’s entire economic recovery.”
In-State Tourism Campaign Launched September 2, 2020
VISIT FLORIDA has launched an in-state tourism marketing campaign to remind Floridians that their home state offers world-class tourism opportunities that most people must travel to other states and countries to experience.
Domestic Campaign Launched October 5, 2020
The second phase of VISIT FLORIDA’s recovery campaign targets visitors who are willing to travel to Florida from key U.S. markets within 700 miles. Highlighting the abundance of safe vacation opportunities that can be enjoyed year-round, the campaign illustrates that the power of a Florida vacation is just a road trip or plane ride away.
The in-state and domestic campaigns have earned a combined total of over 300 million impressions to date.
International visitors are vital to our tourism industry, with Florida welcoming nearly 15 million travelers from overseas and Canada in 2019. Though the situation abroad remains uncertain, VISIT FLORIDA is working proactively to put Florida in the best possible position for when global travel resumes. This includes maintaining in-country representation to continue cultivating relationships with international travel partners in our absence, as well as working with airlines to ensure smooth access to Florida for future international travelers. Over the past several months, VISIT FLORIDA has also developed over 30 virtual or home-based events to build Florida’s competitive edge and keep the Sunshine State top-of-mind in key markets throughout the world.
While the Florida tourism industry has experienced a downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are signs that the industry will rebound. The third quarter 2020 figure of over 22 million visitors was a noticeable upgrade from the 60.5 percent drop in tourism experienced in April, May, and June.