Canada’s a shining star for Florida amid drop in visitation from other international markets

Canada’s a shining star for Florida amid drop in visitation from other international markets

TALLAHASSEE — Canadian travel to Florida was up in 2018, even as visitor figures from other international markets took a dip.

The increases from Canada were slight but they were firmly on the plus side, even as the dollar took a hit and media coverage of red tide gave Canadians a reason to look elsewhere for their holiday.

The latest figures show a 1.9% increase in Canadian visits to Florida for 2018, with some 3.5 million Canadians heading to the Sunshine State last year. The strongest quarter, as always, was Q1 with 1.4 million Canadian visits, a 2.5% increase.

The 3.5 million visitor stat reflects gains from the Canadian market since 2016, when 3.3 million Canadians headed to Florida. In 2014 and 2015 Canadian numbers to Florida dropped from a high of 4.2 million in 2013.

On the flip side of Canada’s gains in 2018, the Sunshine State’s overseas markets were down almost every quarter last year, and ended 2018 with a 1% decrease.

Domestic visits from within the U.S. were up 7.1%.

The 2018 total, some 126 million visitors, was an all-time record for the state, says VISIT FLORIDA, and marked the eighth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida.

The 2018 stats continue the trend from 2017, when Canada was up 3%, overseas markets were down 2% and domestic visits to Florida were up 6.6%.

“VISIT FLORIDA is known across the world for delivering innovative destination marketing to ensure that we are reaching the right people with the right message,” says Dana Young, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA. “With today’s announcement of an eighth consecutive record-breaking year, it’s clear that by focusing on value and data-driven campaigns, VISIT FLORIDA and the tourism industry have achieved unprecedented success. We appreciate Governor DeSantis for his support of our organization and Florida’s entire tourism industry. Working together, we will continue to deliver results to Florida taxpayers who rely on VISIT FLORIDA to protect and enhance our iconic tourism industry.”

Total enplanements at 18 Florida airports during 2018 increased 7.6% over the previous year, with a record 93.9 million airline passengers. Florida’s average daily room rate (ADR) rose 3%.

More Florida visitor data is available at visitflorida.org/resources/research/