18.5 million visited Florida between July and September
December 01, 2009
VISIT FLORIDA®, the official tourism marketing corporation for the state of Florida, estimated 18.5 million people visited the Sunshine State during the third quarter of 2009 (July-September), representing a 1 percent decrease over the same period last year.
“Considering the economy and the declines that other markets have suffered, we’re encouraged that the statewide visitor numbers are nearly flat to last year,” said Ed Fouché, Chairman of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Travel Industry Sales for Disney Destinations. “Our goal at VISIT FLORIDA is to increase the state’s share of the U.S. travel market, and it appears that’s what we’re doing.”
An estimated 16.3 million domestic visitors came to Florida during the third quarter of 2009, a 0.8 percent decline from the same period of 2009. Preliminary estimates of Canadian travel to Florida during July through September 2009 reflect a 10 percent increase in air visitors and a 5 percent decrease in non-air visitors, equating to a 5.6 percent growth overall.
Year-to-date preliminary estimates show that 60.8 million visitors came to Florida during the first nine months of 2009, a2.3 percent decrease from the same period in 2008.
The number of residents traveling within Florida increased by 1.3 million, equaling 5.25 million – 41.9 percent of all resident pleasure trips during the period.
“Though some of the numbers are slightly down, I’m still optimistic,” said Christopher L. Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer of VISIT FLORIDA. “Simply stated, the slide in numbers is continuing to decrease.”
Beginning this quarter, VISIT FLORIDA has implemented a new methodology for estimating visitor numbers. This new process utilizes more actual data end relies less upon estimates.
“This new methodology is more accurate, timely and complete because it comes from larger and more comprehensive databases,” said Thompson.
*Preliminary estimates are issued 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. Final estimates are released when final data are received for all estimates in the report.
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