Forget talk of a “Trump slump” on tourism, Florida’s tourism czar told Brits this week.
VISIT FLORIDA President Ken Lawson said Florida, even with the lingering impacts from Hurricane Irma on the Keys, is getting a “Trump bump” when it comes to travelers.
Lawson’s comments were reported by London-based TTG Media, which covers travel professionals in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Lawson’s talk of a “bump” came during the World Travel Market “WTM” event in London, days after he traveled with Gov. Rick Scott to Toronto to try to entice people from Canada to spend money in the Sunshine State.
“He said Brexit was `not a concern’ and that UK visitors were still coming, though a weak pound meant they were more likely to stay in a lower priced hotel than before,” TTG Media reported about Lawson’s comments.
Back in June, some VISIT FLORIDA officials, including Chairwoman Maryann Ferenc, expressed concern that President Donald Trump‘s America First and immigration policies could have a negative impact on international travel.
“We’ve seen that at the international shows that we’ve gone to,” Ferenc told board members during a June meeting. “It’s a variable that we really have not a lot of control over and we’re going to suffer from.”
Lawson has maintained since Hurricane Irma blistered the state two months ago that Florida continues to seek a record 120 million tourists this year, which would be about a 6 percent jump from 2016.
As part of Lawson’s appearance in London, he announced that the state’s international budget will be $11 million, with a $2 million winter campaign starting in January in the United Kingdom that will feature radio promotions targeted at Manchester and Liverpool.
The United Kingdom accounted for 1.7 million visitors in 2016, the second highest for Florida’s international travelers behind Canada.
Republished with permission of the News Service of Florida.