Florida Tourism Industry Could Take 3 Years to Recover

Florida’s tourism industry, because of an anticipated lag in international tourism to Florida and airplane travel, could take two to three years to rebound, the state Legislature’s top economist says.

Florida’s revenue is expected to drop $5.4 billion over two years compared to original projections as the tourism industry lags and unemployment remains high because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s what Amy Baker, the Legislature’s top economist, told lawmakers Thursday.

“We’ve always talked about tourism and the sensitivity of our economy to tourism as being an important concern and a potential downside risk, if anything were to happen,” Baker said. “So, with the outbreak of coronavirus, we actually did see probably the worst that we will ever see happen, in terms of that downside risk materializing.”

While the state has rebounded somewhat as its begun reopening businesses and attractions, Baker said many people are still going to limit social interactions, traveling within the state and dining out. She also said Florida’s tourism industry will be the slowest to recover.

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