In dialogue with Britonthemove, president and CEO of Visit Florida, spoke about the positive recovery of tourism in the state, which even exceeds pre-pandemic numbers, and the future expansion of the promotion of the destination to other Latin American countries.
How is Florida recovering from the pandemic?
Florida is recovering very well. We have just received the numbers for the first half of 2021 and in domestic travel we exceeded the figures for 2019 by 6%. And that was a record year for us. Florida is open to the world and we are doing an excellent job of offering wonderful vacations for any level of comfort.
What are the main countries that visit the state from Latin America?
We are seeing many travelers from Mexico and Colombia. Obviously, Brazil is a huge market for us and we are very excited about the reopening of borders because very soon we will be able to see Brazilians again.
What are the preferred products or destinations?
We promote the entire state: we have wonderful opportunities for enjoyment in a wide variety of segments. We’ve got great attractions, hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, pristine springs, unparalleled shopping, and everything any vacationer could want.
What novelties does destiny have?
We have news constantly. For example, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex debuted Planet Play, an experience designed for children ages 2-12. In addition, the Museum of Illusions was opened, with interactive 3D illusions and “Smash It!”, an exhibition that will leave visitors breathless
In terms of hotels, we had the opening of The Good Time Hotel in South Beach, a 266-room property. In Orlando, the AC Hotel Orlando Downtown opened with a European-inspired design. Meanwhile, in Delray Beach, The Ray Hotel opened on September 1, with 141 smart rooms with balconies and four new dining options, including a Michelin chef.
Has there been any change in market behavior after the pandemic?
People who come to Florida are very aware of the situation and want to make sure they act correctly and are very careful. In this way, we see a lot of awareness with hand washing and distance from other people. Thanks to this, they have great experiences in Florida despite the pandemic.
Do you have a message for travel agents in Latin America?
We are delighted that Latin American countries and travelers have continued to come to Florida during the pandemic. And, also, we are excited because we will start expanding into new markets in the region. In addition to Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, we will exhibit in Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Chile. This guides the way towards what we can do in Latin America.
The 10 countries that most visit Florida
What’s new in the theme parks?
The 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort and the arrival of new restaurants and attractions like Remy’s adventure in EPCOT’s Ratatouille.
Jurassic World VelociCoaster arrived at Universal’s Islands of Adventure as the tallest and fastest launch roller coaster in Florida.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has been updated with several expansions including LEGOLAND Water Park, LEGO NINJAGO World, THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD and the new gravity-defying Brickbeard’s Watersports Stunt Show.