118 Million Annual Domestic Visitors Flocked To Florida — Highest Level In State History

It’s not just the Florida housing market that has sizzled with people moving into the state. Record numbers are visiting, too.

Florida’s Tourism Industry Is Booming. Latest Annual Figures Beat Pre-Pandemic Visitation

The “Sunshine State” just released its annual visitation numbers along with the latest quarterly figures. More people visited Florida during 2021 than the year preceding the COVID-19 pandemic (2019).

Florida — “Refuge From Lockdown Policies”

Overall in 2021, Florida welcomed nearly 118 million domestic visitors, the highest level in state history, as residents of other states flocked to Florida as a refuge from lockdown policies, according to a news release issued February 15, 2022 by Florida’s Governor.

Florida’s Total Hotel Revenue Reached Highest Ever — $17.3 Billion In 2021

Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida welcomed 30.9 million visitors between October 2021 to December 2021, marking the second consecutive quarter that overall visitation has surpassed 2019, pre-pandemic levels.

“In Florida, we put freedom first, and as a result people are choosing to vacation in our state from across the country and the world to escape lockdowns, including the politicians who advocated for those reckless policies and who are often spotted vacationing here,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.

“While tourism in other states is only just beginning to recover, Florida is at the front of the pack — now we are surpassing pre-pandemic levels and setting new visitation records. I’m thankful that VISIT FLORIDA continued to market our state throughout the past two years, and I am confident that 2022 will be another great year for Florida’s tourism industry.”

QUOTE: Governor Ron DeSantis

“We are thrilled to cap off an incredible year with more record-breaking success for Florida’s tourism industry,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO. “Overall visitation not only exceeded 2019’s for the second quarter in a row, but domestically reached the highest point in our state’s history. We also saw a significant rebound in international travel, including record visitation from Colombia that has made it now Florida’s No. 1 international origin market. VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing continues to drive results on behalf of Florida’s tourism economy, and we are looking forward to taking this success to new heights in 2022 and beyond.”

Visitation Highlights Include:
  • Preliminary estimates from VISIT FLORIDA show that 29 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in the fourth quarter of 2021, reflecting a 57 percent increase from the same period in 2020, and a 7 percent increase from 2019.
  • Approximately 1.5 million overseas visitors came to Florida in Q4 of 2021, an increase of 198 percent from 2020, and 43 percent from Q3 2021.
  • In addition, 359,000 Canadian travelers visited Florida between October and December of 2021, nearly three times as many as in the previous quarter.
  • For the year, Latin America was the driving force of overseas visitation in 2021, with Colombia becoming the state’s No. 1 international market with a record 710,000 visitors.
  • In addition, Florida’s total hotel revenue reached its highest ever in 2021 at $17.3 billion, a 2 percent increase over 2019.

Since launching its tourism recovery plan with Governor DeSantis in August 2020, VISIT FLORIDA has showcased Florida’s wealth of year-round vacation options that can be freely enjoyed by all types of travelers, helping to generate revenue for our communities, and equipping Florida with the competitive edge as a destination.

___ SOURCE: News release, Florida Governor’s Office (February 15, 2022). For further information about Florida’s newly released tourism visitation numbers, see more at VISIT FLORIDA.