Published on : Thursday, December 2, 2021
Locked at home tourists looking forward to a taste of Florida’s sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and warmer climates are visiting the Sunshine State in large numbers, surpassing pre-pandemic levels in recent months.
Miami is one of the top searched destinations on travel websites and statewide. Florida witnessed 32.5 million travelers from July to September this year, surpassing the number of visitors during the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, said Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Florida reaped good resultsdue to the Republican governor’s pro-business, anti-lockdown and anti-mask restrictions all year, allowing tourism – one of Florida’s main economic engines to flourish, even as tourism declined in other parts of the US.
Now, with snowbirds having returned and others making holidays travel plans, hotels and tourism experts are witnessing a noticeable uptick. Miami and Florida have grown even more popular with borders opening earlier this month to international travels, even though plans and logistics could be upset by the emergence of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.
“The moment the borders and the flights were reopened in November, we started to see bookings from Europe and South America,” said Milton Sgarbi, a vice president at 1 Hotel South Beach, one of Miami’s most luxe oceanfront resorts.