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The Villages
Friday, December 3, 2021

Number of visitors to Florida rebounds to pre-pandemic levels

Traffic is heavy, the lines at grocery stores are longer and it’s taking more time to be seated at restaurants in The Villages.

It’s not simply Snowbird Season. The data shows that visitors are returning in droves to Florida.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that Florida’s visitation from July to September 2021 exceeded 2019’s visitation over the same period for the first time since 2020.

DeSantis said estimates show Florida welcomed a total of 32.5 million travelers in the third quarter of 2021. This announcement also marks the second consecutive quarter of growth in domestic visitation, with 31.2 million domestic travelers to Florida in the third quarter, reflecting an increase of nearly 7 percent from 2019. In addition, approximately 1.2 million visitors traveled to Florida from overseas, and 85,000 from Canada between July and September of 2021, representing a 597 percent increase from 2020, and a 16.1 percent increase from the second quarter of 2021.

Since launching in August 2020, Visit Florida’s in-state, drive market, and domestic marketing campaigns have yielded consistent growth for Florida tourism and the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While tourism in other states was completely paused, Florida was the only state marketing outside its borders for seven months, seeing steady growth in visitor volume each quarter. As a result, Florida is driving the recovery of the U.S. travel industry and has cultivated a strategic advantage that will continue to attract visitors in the future.

“In 2020, the experts thought Florida’s economy would be among the most impacted in the nation because of how important tourism is to our state; instead, we are setting the pace for job creation and visitation in the U.S.,” said DeSantis. “We have been able to set these records because in Florida we kept businesses open and made sure Floridians could keep working. In just fifteen months, Florida’s visitation numbers have surpassed past pre-pandemic levels, helping drive revenue, job growth, and economic activity to all 67 counties in our state.”

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