Florida is well on the way to being the number one travel destination in the world – and breaking the 100million barrier, new figures show.
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.”
Rising tourism numbers are always great news for the real estate sector, as the more people come to Florida on vacation, the more that want to say for longer and buy real estate.
Leading Central Florida developer and agent, Feltrim Group, has just announced the pre-launch of its luxury lakeside development south of Orlando, Balmoral at Waters Edge.
Feltrim Group CEO, Garrett Kenny, is expecting a high proportion of overseas investors for Balmoral. “If previous Feltrim Group real estate is anything to go by, we will see high demand from buyers from China, Canada, the UK, Latin America as well as US investors. Most of those buyers will have fallen in love with Florida when visiting the area on holiday, just as I and my family did.
“Many tourists come to Orlando to visit Disney, Universal, Legoland and our 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 100million visitors this year, it looks like we could be handling many more inquiries from overseas property buyers this year.”
Balmoral at Water’s Edge is set in within a 113-acre private gated community featuring natural and man-made lakes and impeccably landscaped gardens and parks. The beautiful garden-themed community includes Tuscan-style architect-designed homes.
It features a host of top-class leisure facilities, including a resort-style pool with luxury clubhouse, mini waterpark, lakeside beach, gym and spa, gourmet kitchen, restaurant and more.