Covid-19Florida

Will tourism in Florida surge after the pandemic?

When countries around the world closed their borders in an attempt to limit the spread of the ongoing pandemic, the global travel and tourism industry was among the sectors hit the hardest.
But more than the industry itself, countries and states relying on tourism to provide jobs and generate income also suffered great losses.
In Brazil, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reports that tourism accounts for 3.7 percent of the national GDP and 3 percent of the country’s total jobs, and the continued effects of the pandemic have spelled increased layoffs, which can further worsen the country’s current economic crisis.
In the Philippines, Daydreaming in Paradise, a lifestyle website, reported that the pandemic has cost the country an estimated $880 million in revenue from February to April 2020 alone. With tourism comprising a staggering 12.7 percent of the country’s GDP in 2018, the effects of the pandemic are crippling.
And the U.S. has not been immune to these effects either.
According to an article by Forbes, the slump in travel and tourism could cause a $910-billion hit to the U.S. economy, an impact seven times greater than that of 9/11.
This impact is felt more sharply in states like Florida, where nearly all jobs and businesses are somewhat tied to tourism. An article by the NPR noted how the ongoing pandemic translated to a decline of almost 20 million visitors, which has caused the state’s sales tax revenues to decrease by $1.6 billion.
Fortunately, some local governments have been quick to act and be of aid to residents and businesses that are suffering from dwindling tourism in the state.
As early as April, some city officials in Florida have been helping to distribute food, introduce stimulus packages and discuss adjusting projects and taxes to help businesses and residents weather the current crisis.
As the lockdown protocols ease and the number of daily new cases slowly declines, the state looks at local tourism as one of the things that could get the economy running again and fill the gaps left by the lack of international tourists.
With that in mind, The Washington Post noted how some of the establishments in the state are already planning how to adjust to the new normal with mandatory temperature checks and guidelines that allow for easier adherence to social distancing.
Since most families would likely still be hesitant to travel long distances, there would most likely be a shift to road trips and vacations at places not too far from home.
Places like Florida that are driver-to destinations for many residents in neighboring states are likely to benefit from this.
As Omer Rabin, managing director for Guesty, an online property management platform for short-term and vacation rentals, explains, this could lead to much better recovery and occupancy rates in the coming months.
Another industry expert, Roll Potts, also supported this notion and said that the new world of travel will see a boom in domestic travel that’s participated in by families and friend groups traveling in vans and other recreational vehicles.

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