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RESEARCH

The VISIT FLORIDA research department studies global consumer trends and travel patterns to learn more about Florida's visitors and their preferences. Every year our Research Department prepares the industry leading Florida Visitor Study, in addition to many other useful studies. This Visitor Study is the premier reference guide for statistics on visitors to the Sunshine State. Below are samples of some key statistics on Florida travel from the study.

When using any of the following research statistics in an article, please credit:
VISIT FLORIDA Research.

If you would like additional information, contact VISIT FLORIDA's Tourism Research Team at: TRT@VISITFLORIDA.org.

Quarter Three Visitor Numbers for 2007
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

July-September

21.1 million*

+4.8%

Air Visitors

44.5%

July-September

  9.4 million*

+6.7%

Non-Air Visitors

55.5%

July-September

11.7 million*

+3.3%

* preliminary figure 

Quarter Two Visitor Numbers for 2007
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

April-June

23.5 million*

+2.3%

Air Visitors

48.7%

April-June

11.4 million*

+2.4%

Non-Air Visitors

51.3%

April-June

12.0 million*

+2.3%

* preliminary figure 

Quarter One Visitor Numbers for 2007
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

January-March

22.8 million*

-1.6%

Air Visitors

54.5%

January-March

12.4 million*

-1.3%

Non-Air Visitors

45.5%

January-March

10.4 million*

-2.0%

* preliminary figure 

Calendar Year Visitor Numbers for 2006
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

January-December

83.9 million  +0.3%
Air Visitors

50.8%

January-December

42.6 million   -0.2%
Non-Air Visitors

49.2%

January-December

41.3 million  +0.9%

Quarter Four Visitor Numbers 2006
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

October-December

17.6 million

+8.3%

Air Visitors

  56.8%

October-December

10.0 million

 +3.3%

Non-Air Visitors

  43.2%

October-December

 7.6 million

+15.8%

Quarter Three Visitor Numbers 2006
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

July-September

20.2 million

 -5.0%

Air Visitors

  43.7%

July-September

 8.8 million

 -2.3%

Non-Air Visitors

  56.3%

July-September

11.3 million

 -7.0%

Quarter Two Visitor Numbers 2006
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

April-June 22.9 million

 +0.5%

Air Visitors

  48.7%

April-June 11.2 million

 +0.9%

Non-Air Visitors

  51.3%

April-June 11.8 million

 +0.1%

Quarter One Visitor Numbers 2006
Visitors Percent of Total Most Recent Value Change
Total Visitors

100.0%

January-March 23.2 million

-0.5%

Air Visitors

  54.3%

January-March 12.6 million

-2.2%

Non-Air Visitors

  45.7%

January-March 10.6 million

+1.7%

 

Historic Visitor Numbers (in millions)
Year Domestic Overseas Canadian Total
1999**

51.4

5.8

1.7

58.9

2000

64.7

6.0

2.0

72.8

2001

62.3

5.3

1.9

69.5

2002

67.9

4.4

1.6

73.9

2003

68.7

4.2

1.6

74.6

2004

73.4

4.4

1.9

79.7

2005

77.2

4.4

2.0

83.6

2006

77.6

4.1

2.1

83.9

** In mid-1999, VISIT FLORIDA changed its domestic visitor estimation method to increase accuracy, so estimates made prior to that year are not directly comparable to more recent yearly estimates.

Historic Economic Impact

Total Tourism Spending (Tourism/Recreation Taxable Sales) 1999-2006:
1999 - $47.2 billion
2000 - $50.9 billion
2001 - $50.8 billion
2002 - $51.1 billion
2003 - $51.5 billion *
2004 - $57.1 billion 
2005 - $62.0 billion
2006 - $65.0 billion

* Beginning in 2003, DOR revised this calculation to include 12 kind codes versus 14.

Total State Sales Tax Revenues from Tourism 1999-2006:
1999 - $2.8 billion
2000 - $3.1 billion
2001 - $2.9 billion
2002 - $3.0 billion
2003 - $3.1 billion
2004 - $3.4 billion
2005 - $3.7 billion
2006 - $3.9 billion

Number of Persons Directly Employed by Tourism Industry 1999-2006:
1999 - 826,200
2000 - 842,900
2001 - 864,500
2002 - 862,900
2003 - 874,700
2004 - 920,700
2005 - 948,700
2006 - 964,700

Top Origin States - by Percentage of Total Domestic Visitors (2006):

New York
Georgia
Illinois
Alabama
New Jersey      
Texas
Massachsetts
Michigan
Ohio
Pennsylvania
11.6%
11.1%
  5.6%
  5.4%
  5.1%
  4.7%
  4.6%
  4.6%
  4.4%
  4.2%

Top International Markets by Number of Visitors (2006)*:

Canada
United Kingdom   
South America**
Germany
Japan
Australia

2.1 million (preliminary 2006 figure) 
1.3 million
  883,000
  206,000
    70,000
    51,000

* Due to constraints set by the U.S. Department of Commerce, countries with a sample size less than 400 did not have data available, therefore reducing the countries data was available for.

** Due to limited data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the decision was made to combine Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela to represent South America for 2006.

Seasonality of Visitation to Florida by Quarter (2006):

Jan-Mar
Apr-Jun
Jul-Sep
Oct-Dec
27.6%
27.5%
24.2%
20.7%

Florida Travel Facts:

DOMESTIC VISITORS IN 20061

  • Florida's domestic visitors said their primary reason for coming to the Sunshine State was for leisure (81.0%).
  • The major type of lodging used by domestic visitors was hotel/motel/B&B (45.2%).
  • The average length of stay for domestic visitors to Florida was 5.0 nights. Domestic air visitors surveyed stayed an average of 5.2 nights, while auto visitors stayed an average of 4.8 nights.
  • The top activities domestic visitors enjoyed while in Florida were visiting the shopping, beaches, going to a theme/amusement park, and touring/sightseeing.
  • The top origin Designated Market Areas (DMAs) for total visitors to Florida were New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. Top origin DMAs for visitors who came to Florida by air were New York, Boston, and Chicago; for auto visitors to Florida, the top three origin DMAs were Atlanta, New York, and Birmingham.
CANADIAN VISITORS IN 20062 
  • The primary purpose for Canadians was holiday/vacation (76.9%).
  • The major type of lodging used by Canadian visitors was hotel (29.0%).
  • The average length of stay for Canadian visitors was 18.0 nights but the median length of stay was nine nights.
OVERSEAS VISITORS IN 20063
  • The primary trip purpose for overseas visitors was leisure/recreation/holiday (61.3%).
  • The major type of lodging used by overseas visitors was hotel/motel (75.8%).
  • The average length of stay for overseas visitors to Florida was 11.3 nights, with a median of nine nights.

Sources:
1 D.K. Shifflet and Associates; TNS TravelsAmerica, Travel Industry Association
2 Statistics Canada
3 U.S. Department of Commerce, ITA, Tourism Industries
4 Agency for Workforce Innovation

 Recent Tourism Milestones:

  • 1996 - VISIT FLORIDA was created. The first and only public/private partnership of its kind in state tourism at the time.
  • 1999 - Official Florida Welcome Centers, operated by VISIT FLORIDA, celebrate 50th anniversary of continuous service.
  • 2000 - Florida becomes first state to provide a comprehensive Internet inventory of nature-based, cultural and heritage tourism resources.
  • 2001 - In wake of the 9/11/01 tragedy, Florida launches largest tourism recovery campaign in the nation's history, made possible by a special $20 million appropriation from Governor Jeb Bush and the Florida Legislature.
  • 2002 - VISIT FLORIDA's tourism recovery campaign wins the 2002 Odyssey Award from the Travel Industry Association of America.
  • 2003 - Florida tops all U.S. destinations for international travelers with a 24-percent market share of overseas visitors and a 35-percent market share of Canadian visitors.
  • 2003 - VISIT FLORIDA wins a total of 21 awards for marketing campaigns from the Travel Industry Association of America, Florida Public Relations Association, Public Relations Society of America, Advertising Federation, and the American Marketing Association.
  • 2004 - VISIT FLORIDA named "Most Media Friendly State Tourism Bureau" by the North American Travel Journalist Association.
  • 2004 - VISIT FLORIDA becomes the first U.S. destination to sponsor American Advertising Federation's National Student Advertising Competition.
  • 2004 - TIA's Summer Research Survey shows Florida as the most popular destination for consumers.

Remember, when using any of our research statistics listed here in any articles or references, please credit: VISIT FLORIDA Research.

For more detailed Florida tourism information, please contact VISIT FLORIDA's Tourism Research Team: TRT@VISITFLORIDA.org.