TORONTO — The Florida Keys and Key West took a bit of a hit from Hurricane Ian in late September, but the destination was “up and running by the end of that week,” says Ashley Serrate, Florida Keys and Key West Media Relations Manager.
In Toronto last week with her team for a trade event, Serrate was eager to get the message out that the Florida Keys and Key West are fully open for business.
And post-pandemic,”things are going really well for us now,” Serrate added in an interview with Travelweek.
From Canada, the destination is seeing rising visitor numbers. And the popularity of multigenerational travel is off the charts. “Travellers who developed a connection with the destination when they were younger, are now showing it to their grandkids,” says Serrate.
Canadian travellers looking to get to the Florida Keys typically connect through Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Another option is the new Flixbus service. Key West’s airport, meanwhile, is getting an US$80 million upgrade, with a new concourse and renovated terminal. The project is due to be completed in late 2024 and should open up connectivity even more.
Highlights in the Florida Keys and Key West for 2023 include the 75th anniversary of Everglades National Park (marked December 2022 but celebrated all through 2023). Also of note: Key West marked its 200th anniversary in 2022, and celebrations will continue into 2023. “We’re a young destination, but a proud destination,” says Serrate.
Travel advisors can learn more by visiting the tourism board’s site, at fla-keys.com, and clicking on ‘Connect with Us’ at the top right of the home page, and ‘For Travel Agents / Tour Operators’ in the pulldown menu.