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Florida On Track To Receive 100 Million Visitors In 2015
In 2014 the Sunshine State attracted 97.3 million visitors – a record for the fourth year in a row – but now figures just out suggest Florida is on track to top 100million visitors during 2015.
During the first six months of 2015, Florida attracted 54.1 million visitors – a record for any six month period. If a similar figure is achieved from July-December, the 100million mark will be smashed.
The six-month total is a 5.8% year-on-year rise. In the second quarter of 2015 (from April -June) 25.8million visitors came to Florida, a 5.5% annual increase.
The rising figures have direct bearing on business, with a record 1.213million people directly employed in the travel sector, up 4.9% year-on-year.
State Governor Rick Scott says he is proud of Florida’s record-breaking. “Our growing tourism industry employs over 1.2 million Floridians and is helping us meet our goal of becoming the best place in the world for jobs. We are excited to mark the first half of 2015 with our biggest second quarter ever, and we look forward to exceeding our goal of 100 million visitors to Florida this year.”
Preliminary figures for the first half of 2015 show 45.7 million domestic visitors, 5.5million overseas visitors and 2.9million Canadians traveled to the Sunshine State.
Looking at the second quarter figures, a similar proportion of visitors were from other countries, including 1.2million of the 2.7million foreign tourists from Canada.
Will Seccombe, President and Chief Executive Officer of VISIT FLORIDA, says. “This continued growth does not happen by accident. We know tourism marketing works and we have Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to thank for their unparalleled support that has put us well on our way to making Florida the Number One travel destination in the world.”
Carol Dover, Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Public Affairs Committee and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association says, “Florida is continuing to break the mold by setting record breaking trends that prove our state leads the way in hospitality and tourism. We were proud to help provide incredible guest experiences in the first half of the year and can’t wait to welcome even more visitors to the Sunshine State throughout the rest of the year.”
More visitors help drive the local tourism industry, which welcomed more than 62 million visitors last year, making Central Florida the most-visited destination in the U.S. in 2014. Those visitors resulted in an annual economic impact of about $60 billion in the metro Orlando area.
Those rising tourism numbers are always great news for the real estate sector, as the more people come to Florida on vacation, the more decide that they want to stay for longer and buy real estate. Whether that be in terms as a retirement, as identified in a recent study by Wallet, naming Orlando as #5 Best Places To Retire, or purely to create memories with the family which can be shared for a lifetime.
Leading Central Florida Vacation Expert and Licensed REALTOR®, Garry Walmsley of The Walmsley Team at Global Real Estate Services, Inc. has seen high demand from buyers from Brazil, China and the United Kingdom and more recently from Dubai and Scandinavia, as well as an increase in U.S. investors with the recent volatility in the stock markets.
As I did, many tourists come to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World®, Universal Orlando Resort®, SeaWorld® and the other world-class theme parks and attractions. They see what a wonderful lifestyle Central Florida offers and start planning ways they can buy real estate and stay on a more permanent basis.
With the state expecting 100 Million visitors this year, it looks like we could be handling many more inquiries from overseas property buyers this year.