LONDON – With the economy in the worst shape in the country since the 2008 financial crisis, the Florida tourism sector is set to post record revenue for the second straight year.
But this time, it is not just Florida that is expecting a huge bounce from its booming tourism industry.
Travel agencies, hotels and airlines in the Sunshine State will see record revenues in 2018, and the tourism industry in Europe is forecast to take in a record $4.4bn in the year to 2021.
But for the most part, the tourism business in Florida is set for a rebound, thanks in part to a strong economy and an influx of foreign visitors.
“Florida tourism is the most popular, but it is the biggest part of the tourism economy and a significant driver of the state’s economy,” said Bill Clements, executive director of the Tourism Florida Alliance.
“I think we’re going to have a really, really strong economy.”
But Florida’s economy is also suffering from the effects of the recession.
The state is projected to lose more than $600m in tourism revenue in 2020 alone, according to the Florida Tourism Department.
The industry has also struggled to recover from a sharp drop in the number of vacationers in Florida during the recession, with the state forecast to lose about 1.5 million visitors in 2020.
Florida’s economy also suffered a setback in 2018 when President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency, and Florida Gov.
Rick Scott ordered the closure of the entire state.
“There are a number of things that we have to work on in the future, and we’re working on that,” Clements said.
“The tourism industry is one of them.
We have to get back to it.”
The Florida Tourism Association (FTAA), a trade group for the tourism sector, said that the industry is expecting $1.3bn in revenue for 2018.
The group has also predicted that Florida will see a $400m increase in visitors this year.
“We are not surprised by this data because the industry was expecting a good year for tourism,” said Ryan F. Smith, FTAA’s president and CEO.
“But the state of Florida has been on the right track, and I think the state is going to be on the front foot.”FTAA estimates that the state will earn $1,547 per person, $1 billion in direct spending and $1 trillion in indirect spending in 2018.
Florida has also seen an increase in the demand for vacation homes, with home sales in Florida up 23% from a year ago.
Sales of vacation properties in Florida have doubled from the previous year.
In 2018, the state expects to have about 100,000 homes sold.
“If you go back and look at a state like New York or California, you’re talking about 100 million homes being sold,” Smith said.
“You’re talking the total value of homes in Florida in 2018 is going be over $5 trillion.”
Smith also said that there are a few key factors that are helping the tourism boom in Florida.
Florida is a state with one of the highest tourism taxes in the nation, which has helped the tourism tax revenue.
“The Florida tourism tax is the only state that taxes its residents at a higher rate than the average American resident,” Smith added.
“It has been a significant revenue driver for the state.”
As a result, Florida has a very high property tax rate of 9.5%.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth in the real estate market and it’s driven up the value of our state,” Smith told ABC News.
“That has contributed to the boom in the tourism market.”
Smith said that Florida has also been one of those states where people have chosen to stay longer.
“It’s very unusual for a state to have this type of growth in a single year, but that’s what we’re seeing,” Smith explained.
“And it’s the biggest factor driving the economic rebound we’re looking at.”
The economic rebound in Florida has not come without bumps.
Last year, the Sunshine state recorded more than 4,000 homicides.
And this year, there have been reports of people being killed by stray bullets.
“A lot of people are getting out of bed and moving out of the house to make the most of the weather and get away from the danger,” Smith noted.
“We’re seeing some people in particular who are really enjoying their holiday and their vacation.”
Florida is not alone.
The United Kingdom also saw record sales of vacation homes and the United States has seen record sales.
In fact, more than 40 states have reported record or near record sales for 2018, according the FTAA.