Florida Breaks Pre-Pandemic Tourism Levels, NYC Not Projected to Recover Until 2024

May 18, 2022 Updated 8:27 AM ET

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May 18, 2022 Updated 8:27 A.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) –  The state’s official tourism marketing corporation, VISIT FLORIDA, announced Florida surpassed its pre-pandemic tourism levels for the third consecutive quarter. 

“Economists originally projected that Florida tourism wouldn’t fully recover until 2024, but quarter after quarter, despite the Biden administration’s utter failure to manage inflation and the nation’s supply chain woes, Florida’s visitation numbers continue to break records and defy conventional wisdom,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. 

Florida welcomed 36 million total visitors between January and March of 2022 according to VISIT FLORIDA. This is a 14% increase from Q4 2021. The Governor’s office said there are no signs of slowing at this point. 

“In addition to breaking more pre-pandemic records domestically, we are seeing an exponential rebound in Orlando as well as our international numbers, which we expect to continue in the months ahead,” VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young said.

Tourism to the Big Apple has dropped significantly over the years. In fact, New York City does not expect to surpass pre-pandemic levels of tourism until 2024.  

“Tourism is booming in Florida, not NYC, because people don’t want to be asked for their medical papers just to get a beer,” Governor DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw said. “In Florida, they know that won’t happen. As for masks, it’s a personal choice here and always will be.”

New York City’s tourism agency estimates that the city had 66.6 million total visitors in 2019, 32.9 million in 2021, and is projected to have 56.4 million visitors in 2022. 

NYC said the restrictions imposed on businesses during the pandemic had a “major  effect” on business travel globally. Business accounts for 20% of the trips made to NYC every year. 

“People everywhere crave normalcy, so it’s not surprising that so many New Yorkers have moved to Florida over the past two years,” Pushaw said.

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