When it recently released its report on travel data for 2015, Visit Florida officials focused on the year-over-year increase in total travel to the state, which set a record, but it did not highlight what happened among key international markets.
—Travel to the state from half of its Top 10 international source markets (Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and France) declined in 2015;
—Travel to the state from four of its Top 10 International source markets (Colombia, Germany, Mexico and Australia) was up by either just one percent or remained flat at zero percent, year-over-year.
—Of all Florida’s Top 10 international source markets, only the UK registered a significant improvement in the number of visitors, with a year-over-year increase of five percent.
What underscores the impact of the Visit Florida numbers is that they represent the first reliable report on full-year results of visitation to the United States (albeit, just one state—Florida) which seem to affirm that the strong U.S. dollar vs. other major currencies, as well as troubled economies in South America, have had the impact that was reported anecdotally to the Inbound Report through much of 2015 by receptive tour operators and key source market international tour operators.
It has been a challenge to measure the impact of international marketing campaigns, as well as the impact of the strong U.S. dollar and other economic developments, absent aggregate data on arrivals to the United States. The government agency that has reported such data—the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO)—has been hampered for the past two years because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has had difficulty in gathering the numbers that NTTO analyzes in order to prepare its arrivals reports. The data delivery is now behind by some nine months.
Following are key tables that we retrieved from the Visit Florida report. (It should be noted that there are no Visit Florida numbers on the key Asian markets of China, India and South Korea.)
2015 Estimates of Visitors to Florida by Quarter
(in 000s of Person Trips)
|Note: Figures are preliminary; some figures may not add up due to rounding|
|Source: TNS TravelsAmerica; D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Inc: Individual Florida Airports; Statistics Canada; U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, National Travel and Tourism Office; Visa Vue Travel; Diio, aviation data|
Top Countries for International Visitation to Florida
|Origin Country & Rank||2014 Visitation||2015 Visitation*||% Change*|
Top World Regions for International Visitation to Florida
|Origin Region & Rank||2014 Visitation||2015 Visitation*||% Change*|
|3. South America||4,117,000||3,782,000||-8%|
|6. Central America||601,000||654,000||9%|
|8. Middle East/Africa||249,000||278,000||11%|
|* Figures in this column are considered preliminary and are preliminary and are subject to revision. Figures released on March 10, 2016.|
|Source: VISIT FLORIDA preliminary international estimates, excluding Canada, are based on and extrapolated from aggregate card data provided by Visa Vue Travel and incorporate data from othrs research sources. Preliminary Canadian estimates are derived from historical data and obtained from Statistics Canada.|