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Tourism and Infrastructure: Complementary Components to Success

By on July 14th, 2017 — 11:49am

Airline announcementFunding for Florida’s tourism industry is vital to our success, and our state has continued to make it a priority.  Over the past few years, Florida has also made significant investments in infrastructure, which directly benefits our economy, transportation and quality of life. Whether lowering shipping costs and creating jobs, increasing business-to-business access or improving the quality of commutes, those investments are paying dividends for Florida families.

This is in large part due to leaders in our state, including Governor Scott, who have ensured that our roads, bridges, airports and seaports have the resources they need to be successful.  Over the past six years, the state has invested over $1 billion in our airports, and the results have been clear: year-over-year increases in airline passengers and more visitors to our state.

Just last week, the Governor announced that Florida has now surpassed Texas to become second in the nation for airline passenger volume.  Based on data published by the Federal Aviation Administration, Florida’s passenger boarding in 2016 was a staggering 81,145,495.  That number represents a 3,093,186, or a 4 percent, increase over 2015.

BAOne of the airports with the largest jump in passengers was Ft. Lauderdale International (FLL), with an increase of over 1.2 million. Located in the heart of a vibrant and diverse region of South Florida, FLL serves as a hub for many international visitors.  And earlier this month, British Airways announced they were launching a non-stop flight between London and FLL.  With the United Kingdom being Florida’s number two international market, this is great news for our state and our tourism industry.

The high level of continued funding for VISIT FLORIDA complements those record investments in infrastructure.  As we support our airports, more and more flights find their way to our state and, as we continue to market our state successfully, we ensure more seats on those flights are filled with high-yield visitors.  Since the total economic impact of tourism to our state is over $183 billion, a 4 percent increase in airline passengers is a big deal for Florida’s economy.

VISIT FLORIDA is committed to strengthening our partnerships with our state’s airports.  At our annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism from August 28-30 this year, we will be hosting an Airport Roundtable Break-out Session, which will include a panel of five airport executives from across the state.  The discussion will consist of economic trends, passport news, infrastructure highlights and opportunities for continued success.  More information can be found here.

Investing in our infrastructure is not only great for our residents, but helps us attract and support our visitors, which in turn helps our state’s economy and Florida families. As we continue to aggressively market our state, our world-class infrastructure will help us with our goal of attracting a record 120 million high-yield visitors this year.

Stephen Lawson
Vice President of Government Relations
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