More than 2,000 new hotel rooms coming to Clearwater, FL over the next year
Clearwater Beach, Florida.

More than 2,000 new hotel rooms coming to Clearwater, FL over the next year

TORONTO — With 27% of the international market, Canada is a critical source of visitors for the Sunshine State.

Visit Florida and several of its partners reaffirmed their commitment to Canada at an industry event last night at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum.

Not only are we Florida’s largest international market, we’re also number one in spend, said Meagan Dougherty, PR rep for Visit Florida. Clients who think they know Florida inside out might be surprised, she added. “We’re very family-friendly of course but our state is constantly changing.”

Plenty of hotel inventory is in the pipeline, especially in Clearwater, where 2,000 new hotel rooms will open over the next year. Meanwhile Sarasota is anticipating its first Starwood Hotels & Resorts property – an aloft hotel – in the downtown core. The 139-room property is scheduled to open Feb. 4, 2016. Sarasota will also welcome its first Westin property at the start of 2017.

There’s more lift too. Tampa Bay is seeing increasing capacity with Air Canada rouge as well as new nonstop service with Air Transat from Montreal.