Florida Huddle Hails Return Of Travellers

A robust return to the vacation magnet of Florida by international visitors – especially Canadians – was confirmed by new statistics at the recent Florida Huddle travel trade show.

Huddle was held Feb. 2 to 4 in West Palm Beach at the Hilton WPB, and was attended by Baxter Media western Canada editor Ted Davis.

In 2022, international visitation to Florida more than doubled from 2021, with Q4 of 2022 being the first time that the number of visitors from abroad topped 3 million since the pandemic began.

Canada was a big part of the rebound story, as Canadian Q4 visitor numbers were almost back to pre-pandemic levels.

In 2021, Florida reached an overseas market share of 44.6% – meaning nearly half of all the overseas visitors to the US in 2021 came to Florida.

At the conference itself, there was a record number of buyers, with 186 attending from 18 countries. “It is the most successful huddle yet,” said Dana Young, the CEO of Visit Florida.

Room demand for meetings and conventions also recovered dramatically in 2022, rising 76% from the previous year, while revenue more than doubled to $4.5 billion, said Young. These MICE visitors spend over 50% more per day in Florida than leisure travellers, she said.

In The Photo:

Dana Young, president and CEO of Visit Florida (l.) with Brianna Green, senior public relations executive for Visit Florida at the Florida Huddle travel trade show.