VISIT FLORIDA has selected Tampa Bay to host “Florida Huddle 2022” next year.
Florida Huddle 2022 will be held Jan. 24-26 at the Tampa Convention Center. The event is the state’s official Travel Trade Show, which showcases Florida to international and domestic tour operators, wholesalers and media. The event includes one-on-one-appointments, educational sessions and networking.
“Florida Huddle provides an invaluable opportunity to connect travel professionals from around the world with Florida’s top destinations, hotels, resorts, and attractions,” VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO Dana Young said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to be able to host this signature event in Tampa next year and open doors to new business possibilities that drive visitation to every region of our great state.”
The announcement comes immediately after Super Bowl LV, which Tampa hosted. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team in National Football League history to win a Super Bowl championship on home turf.
“We are very excited to be welcoming Florida Huddle and all our hospitality industry friends in person to Tampa Bay in 2022,” Santiago C. Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay, said in a news release. “We are no strangers to hosting some of the most epic Huddles and this time around will be very special. Since last time we hosted, Tampa has changed dramatically with brand-new hotels, attractions, restaurants and an emerging downtown core that has become a focus for residents and visitors. We know you’ll love it and we look forward to hosting an industry reunion that we all need.”
Tourism is the state’s leading industry, responsible for about 131.4 million visitors in 2019, and contributing $91.3 billion to Florida’s economy, according to VISIT FLORIDA. Tourism also supports about 1.5 million jobs.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the tourism industry — Florida visitation was down 34% from January through September of last year. Hotel revenue in the state, a leading indicator of economic impact, declined by more than $6.5 billion.
This year, VISIT FLORIDA is hosting Florida Huddle virtually, starting Monday and running through Friday.