UK leads way in Florida visits for Q1

The UK has topped the list of overseas visitor numbers to Florida in the first quarter of 2022.

More than 157,000 Britons visited Florida in the first three months of this year, restoring the country’s position as the state’s number one overseas market.

The UK dropped to Florida’s eighth highest overseas market in 2021, which saw 139,000 Britons visit in the whole year – a 23% drop from 2020 and a 90% drop from 2019.

More: Ocean Holidays reports record Easter for Florida travel

The huge decline in 2021 was unsurprising as most Brits were banned from entering the US until November.

However, the visitor numbers are now starting to bounce back as UK tourists return to Florida following the relaxation of Covid restrictions.

But despite this year’s rise, visitor numbers are still 30% lower than they were for the same period in 2019.

Dana Young, president and chief executive of Visit Florida, is “confident” UK visitor numbers will continue to grow.

She said: “We are pleased to report that the UK has regained its position as Florida’s top overseas market in the first quarter of 2022. Our tour operator and airline partners are seeing strong bookings for the state through Florida’s main gateways so we are confident that these visitation numbers will only continue to grow.

“Our research also shows that lesser-known destinations, such as northwest Florida and the Treasure Coast in the southeast, are becoming more popular among British and Irish travellers.

“We love to see our visitors exploring new horizons in our great state, and Visit Florida will continue to work on product development to help make all of Florida as accessible as possible.”

Young made her comments during an away day to the Isle of Wight for trade partners, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Visit Central Florida.

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