TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Huddle and Florida Encounters conventions are running side by side at the Tampa Convention Center selling Florida's tourism industry to the masses.
"The leisure market is on fire," said Dana Young, president of Visit Florida.
Young says 2019 was a record-setting year for visitors with about 131 million coming to the state. Fast-forward to 2021 and the numbers are even higher.
"2021, we have only third-quarter numbers, but already we're exceeding those 2019 numbers, that's how well Florida is doing," Young said. "People see Florida as a bright shining vestige of freedom in this country," she added.
In Hillsborough County, Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrada says hotel revenue for November 2021 was about $66 million, exceeding November 2019's $50 million, which at the time was the best on record.
"April 2020 was the worst tourism month in the history of Hillsborough County, fast-forward to April 2021, the best April of all time, and we've been breaking records every month since April of ‘21 through today. So it is pretty remarkable," stated Corrada.