The Real Deal Miami

Tourism numbers show mild decline

February 17, 2010 04:27PM

Florida got fewer visitors in 2009 than 2008, but the size of the drop
remains under debate. After a change in statistical collection methods
by Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation,
the year-over-year drop is either 0.8 percent or almost 5 percent, depending on which formula is to be trusted. The
old method showed 84 million visitors in 2008, and would yield a
larger drop. Visit Florida President and CEO Christopher Thompson
said preliminary estimates reflected a very challenging year for the
Florida tourism industry in 2009. The peak visitor season, between
October and December, had about a 3.4 percent drop. However, the weak
U.S. dollar helped provide a 6.3 percent boost from overseas visitors
in the fourth quarter. That blunted a year-over-year decline, which
still came in a 4.3 percent, according to preliminary data. [SFBJ]