Photo by Denys Kostyuchenko via Unsplash
One staple of the Florida economy is the tourism industry, which suffered a 34% drop in 2020. However, this year the tides are beginning to turn back in its favor.
“Miami is usually slow in the summer,” Markos Rivas told Scriberr News, “but with restrictions of travel in Europe, and with the Caribbean, South America and Europe still struggling to open up travel, our domestic travelers are now coming to Miami to experience the many attractions South Florida has to offer.”
Rivas is the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Miami-International Hotel. He said the hotel’s demand and occupancy has grown by 50% in comparison to this time 2019.
“We have experienced an unexpected increase in leisure visitors to Miami this year as a direct result of relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in the State of Florida and what I call a ‘pent-up demand’ from domestic travelers that have been locked up at home since this pandemic started,” Rivas said.
He anticipates the demand will continue to grow as the cruise industry returns. The first cruise will be leaving the Port of Miami on July 4.
Rivas said the remaining industry-wide issue is “and will continue to be staffing.”
“This is the only problem we face during recovery, and I do hope that changes soon,” Rivas said.
Andreas King-Geovanis is the CEO of an Airbnb-style business based in Miami, Sextant Stays. He said during March 2020 until mid-May 2020, they saw a slight lull in business.
Following the lull, Sextant Stays was “able to keep occupancy above 70% with lots of demand coming from New York and Boston, as well as traveling nurses,” King-Geovanis told Scriberr News.
In the early summer months, Sextant Stays had most of their demand coming from areas with stricter lockdown locations.
“The latest TSA numbers show there are still 20% fewer travelers passing through,” said King-Geovanis, “but this gap continues to shrink week over week.”
They’re expecting a busier-than-usual 4th of July, and a similar summer performance to 2019.
King-Geovanis said the pandemic has brought forth a change in travelers, and for Sextant Stays – it’s a good thing.
“Guests are actively seeking our product over traditional hotels because it has the space and comfort they require…Covid-19 permanently altered the way we live, work and travel.”