Florida remains a popular destination for UK holidaymakers, but operators are seeing more demand for quieter, less-crowded areas, according to one of the state’s regional tourist boards.
Speaking on a sponsored Travel Weekly Roadmap to Recovery Webinar, representatives from The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel said they were seeing an uplift in interest as travellers increasingly look for outdoor, nature-based activities.
UK and Ireland representative Zeeshan Rashid said: “Feedback we’re getting from the UK trade and tour operators is that people want to go to Florida as always in the 2021 summer holidays. How long can we not travel for?
“Florida has always been a popular destination, but what’s great about unspoilt Florida is this time, they want to see another side of Florida away from the crowds, so they’re heading to our destination where it’s all about nature and isolation and spending time as a family together.”
The region is being promoted in the UK as an add-on to perennially popular destinations such as Orlando, with a programme of trade fam trips set to resume once US borders reopen.
Stefanie Zinke, senior international tourism sales manager for The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, said: “I think the state of Florida has it all – we just sometimes need to look beyond the most known.
“We don’t necessarily compete with an Orlando or Miami – I always like to say we complement them, and we add a little bit of extra value to the holiday.
“Within a two or three-hour drive, you find a completely different holiday destination so we think that you can combine the two and they complement each other really well.
“We encourage travel agents to consider offering this little add-on for a beach vacation.”
Zinke said the region’s tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants were operating with new health and safety measures in place, but were primarily catering for the domestic market until international travel resumes.
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel is also offering agents a chance to win one of three £50 shopping vouchers; find out more here.