Gov. DeSantis claims ‘freedom first’ policies drive Florida’s tourism boom
Ron DeSantis speaks at Florida Tourism Day. Image via Dana Young/Twitter.

Visit Florida
The Governor explains the latest strong numbers from VISIT FLORIDA.

Tourists continue to stream to the Sunshine State, and Gov. Ron DeSantis credits “freedom first” policies for the out-of-state surge.

“Our freedom first policies continue to bring visitors to Florida from across the country and around the world,” DeSantis said. “This increase in tourism will support our entire economy, especially small businesses that have been built from the ground up by hardworking Floridians.”

DeSantis’ affirmation of the Sunshine State’s appeal to tourists is backed up by numbers, via VISIT FLORIDA.

The state tourism agency estimates 35.1 million people visited Florida between July and September this year, good for a 6.9% uptick over the same period last year. Of those visitors, 32.6 million were domestic.

Yearly, visitation is up 4.1% from 2019, a time before the COVID-19 pandemic. So far this year, visitation is up 15.3% from 2021.

Years ago, VISIT FLORIDA was under siege, with legislative moves typically stemming from the House to cut funding for the agency. Under the DeSantis administration, the agency mission seems to have stabilized, as evidenced by President and CEO Dana Young‘s own statement.

“We are thrilled to cap off more outstanding growth for Florida’s tourism industry in the third quarter of 2022,” Young said. “Even as more destinations have become available, Florida has firmly maintained the top spot on every traveler’s list. Looking ahead, VISIT FLORIDA is wholly focused on continuing the momentum we have created, and further reinforcing that we are the No. 1 vacation destination in the world.”

Challenges remain, of course, including a hurricane season that saw two named late-season storms cause damage throughout the state. Last month saw the agency launch a $2.7 million marketing campaign to establish the premise that the “Sun is Shining in Florida.”

Those so-called “post-storm marketing programs” ran through the end of October in major markets on both digital and social platforms, and could help ameliorate a potential Q4 tourism slowdown.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


5 comments

  • Charlie Crist

    November 17, 2022 at 4:09 pm

    Election was rigged and stolen from me by right wing propagandists and liars. Also people were paid!

  • Tom

    November 17, 2022 at 7:00 pm

    LMAO, go to the donkey farm. Enjoy!

  • Frankie M.

    November 17, 2022 at 9:37 pm

    Time to get rid of Disney! They’re courtin the gays and hurtin tourism.

  • Tom

    November 17, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Frankie you loser, 60%.
    Shove the pie hole! He “claims”, really.
    Yes, of course it is.
    Thanks to Ron, freedom, liberty and quality of life.

  • Tom

    November 17, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    Frankie you loser, 60%.
    Shove the pie hole! He “claims”, really.
    Yes, of course it is.
    Thanks to Ron, freedom, liberty and quality of life.

Comments are closed.


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