Interest In Travel Remains High, Huddle Session Told

There is good news and bad news for Florida’s tourist trade these days when it comes to the Canadian market, reports Press Today’s Ian Stalker.

Visit Florida’s Jacob Prewitt Yancey told viewers during this week’s Florida Huddle tourism show that interest in travel remains high among Canadians, welcome news for Florida, which traditionally hosts large numbers of Canadians.

Pewitt Yancey told those watching his presentation during the virtual show that a recent Expedia survey suggested Canadians now value vacations more than ever, while a Conference Board of Canada survey reported that nine in 10 of us miss travelling while the coronavirus pandemic keeps us home.

But Prewitt Yancey also noted it’s become increasingly difficult for Canadians who wish to visit Florida to do so as governments implement measures that are discouraging travel and falling demand prompts airlines to reduce service between Canada and Florida.

2016 saw what Prewitt Yancey called a “low period” in Canadian travel to Florida but numbers had been recovering, with the first couple of months of 2020 actually looking good.

But the pandemic’s arrival dramatically curtailed travel, resulting in what Prewitt Yancey called a “big drop-off” in airplane seats from this country to Florida last year.

This year is “continuing to see a significant decline” in airline capacity from here to Florida, he added.

Meanwhile, an earlier presentation on Florida’s airports saw Chris Minner, executive vice-president marketing and communications for Tampa International Airport, say that each time governments toughen quarantine requirements for travellers his airport sees reduced usage by passengers.

Stephen Belleme of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport said all the passengers he sees passing through that facility are wearing masks and the travelling public has “got the message” about safety during these days of coronavirus.

The session was also told by Jimmy Nares, section chief of marketing at Miami International Airport, that he expects the number of people using that airport to rebound as vaccines are rolled out worldwide.