Based on new data that has been released, Tampa Bay area and Florida in general are experiencing a dramatic decline in international tourism interest. At some point, the new US president’s provocative and controversial policies are considered to be the reason but experts agree that there is no enough evidence to connect the policies to the declining interest of visitors.
According to Visit Florida, the official tourism marketing corporation of the state, tourism is the main industry of Florida that brought in 112.8 million visitors in 2016. In 2015, Florida generated $11.3 billion in state and local tax revenues from tourist spending that amounted to $108.8 billion.
However, according to data that was released by Kayak, a travel search engine, flight searches from Europe to Tampa for 2017 summer season were down by 21%. This is the biggest drop experienced by any market in the US. Flight searches from the United Kingdom which is one of Florida’s major tourism sources have suffered a big drop. Searches from the UK to Orlando, Tampa and Fort Lauderdale were down by 60% while flight searches for Miami dropped down to 52%.
The second largest group of foreign visitors to Florida comes from the United Kingdom although Canada accounts for more. A sizeable portion of Tampa Bay’s economy is generated from tourism with tourist revenue at more than $5.6 billion in 2016. 5% of all jobs in the area are tourism-related.
According to Patrick Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer of Visit Tampa Bay, the United Kingdom is their major tourist source. Harrison receives a lot of contradictory information on whether the Trump Slump actually exists particularly since other outlets are also experiencing declines.
The United Kingdom accounts for more than 100,000 of the international visitors that enjoy Tampa Bay every year that is why Visit Tampa Bay continues with its complete marketing takeover at the Waterloo Subway Station.
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