Visit Florida released its data regarding the current state of Florida’s tourism numbers for the third quarter of 2020. And let’s say the numbers were not where we’d like them to be, but for obvious reasons.
According to the data collected, the state’s tourism numbers were down 31.8 percent compared to last year’s third quarter.
But the numbers are a sign of encouragement depending on the way you look at them. The third-quarter numbers showed a vast improvement compared to the second quarter figures earlier this year, which were down 60.3 percent on the year-to-year data.
“Although out-of-state visitation was down again in the third quarter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are encouraged to see some signs of recovery in our visitation estimates, particularly with international travel almost nonexistent,” said Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young.
Compared to earlier in the year, the uptick in tourism is largely due to the governor’s orders to reopen the state in late September. The summer months saw the largest number of coronavirus related cases, which reinforced statewide lockdowns, limiting international and domestic travel across the Sunshine State.
Earlier this week, Florida became the third state to eclipse the 900,000 total case mark, with daily cases reaching upwards of 9,000, the highest since the second quarter.
Florida hospitals will be some of the first in the nation to receive the emergency approved vaccines in early December, but even with that, the economic ramifications the virus created could last for years, hampering travel for the unforeseeable future.
While there has been no sign of further state lockdowns, cases remain a problem and will undoubtedly be the main reason for a continued negative tourism trend.
On the brightside, the third quarter numbers are an improvement.
The data from Visit Florida does not reflect intrastate travel.
In 2019 over 131 million people visited Florida; this year, if everything continues the way it has through the fourth-quarter, the state is on pace for 88.5 million visitors. The almost 50 percent drop off in tourism would put the state at its lowest point since the post-recession year of 2011, which recorded just over 87 million visitors.
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Mike has more than 30 years of experience in marketing and public relations. He once owned his own agency and has worked with some of the largest brands in the world.