Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hotel Prices Increase As Florida Breaks Tourism Record

At EPCOT in Walt Disney World, Florida, Governor Rick Scott announced 105 million visitors came to Florida in 2015. Credit: Florida Governor's Office.
WALT DISNEY WORLD, Florida - Florida set another record in tourism by welcoming 105 million visitors in 2015, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced today at EPCOT in Walt Disney World, Florida.

According to the State of Florida's tourism agency, VISIT FLORIDA, this is the fifth consecutive record year for visitation to Florida, exceeding the previous high of 98.5 million in 2014 by 6.6%.  

Lower gas prices have fueled record-breaking domestic travel to the Sunshine State. VISIT FLORIDA estimates that 89.789 million domestic visitors traveled to Florida in 2015, reflecting an 8% increase over last year.  This increase in domestic visitors more than offset a .7% decline in overseas visitors and a 1.5% decline in Canadian visitors who have been impacted by a stronger U.S. dollar. 

Although millions of U.S. tourists visiting Florida have seen a boost to their travel budget with lower gas prices, they are paying more for lodging during their stay as demand increases. In 2015, Florida's average daily room rate rose 5.9 percent and the number of rooms sold grew by 4.5 percent compared to 2014. Florida’s average occupancy rate for 2015 was 72.0 percent, an increase of 3.2 percent over 2014. 2015 was a record year for occupancy rate, exceeding the previous high of 69.8 percent in 2014.

“I am proud to announce that Florida has surpassed our tourism goal and welcomed an historic 105 million visitors to our state in 2015," Governor Scott said. "The number of travel-related jobs also reached a record high, with 1.2 million Floridians employed in the tourism industry. Tourism plays an important role in supporting our economy, and we will continue to make strategic investments in the tourism industry to keep Florida on track to becoming first for jobs. With five consecutive record years for tourism, it is time to set our goal even higher, and I look forward to welcoming 115 million visitors to the Sunshine State this year.”