Mostway through February, and the Naples boosters have yet to make their usual breathless announcement of how great January’s tourism biz was. Given that December 2016 was a let down from previous Decembers, I think this means that January was really slow, and they’re hoping for a better februrary or the rest of the year so things average out and then they can announce breathless record tourist biz for the winter season or year or some time or other announcement.
Half of Florida tourism’s problem is exhibited above… The lake is at 42 degrees north in Minnesota and the temp is just north of 60 degrees, and what remains of that ice may not be long for the world. We’ve already had ice out on some of the ponds, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see ice out on a shallow lake or three tomorrow. Kinda blows the incentive to travel to Florida… But talk of global warming is pretty much forbidden amongst the Florida tourism boosters, so they’ll have to come up with more “creative” explanations for the sagging tourism numbers.
Florida tourism’s other problem is equally unmentionable… No PR flack employed by the boosters of one of America’s reddist counties is going to admit that the spectre of a President Trump is scaring off foreign tourists. But the analytics don’t lie (though some of the analysts do), and web searches from several foreign countries on Florida tourist websites are down by double digit percentages. No surprise that I heard fewer foreign language conversations and even English english in Florida this winter, and traffic seemed a bit less but still too slow. Heck, even the Canadians seemed to disappear for a few days around the inauguration. And if the Brits and even Canadians and tourists from a bunch of other countries not on Trump’s list of “Moslem” countries are staying away, I doubt many wealthy Arabs will grace us with their presence and tourist dollars either.
But Florida tourism boosters, don’t give up hope yet…
Winter storm watch for hereabouts on thursday and friday. So I might come back for a few weeks and spend a few bucks at Micky D’s supper clubs and I can’t make it to Naples and back without buying a least a tankful of Florida taxed fuel. So ya, I might drop a whole $20 to the state of Florida in taxes on my next visit.
But I’ll try to drop more in the donation jar at the next Florida Airhead Tech Day… Worth every cent!