A wave of new arrivals from the Middle East, Asia and Africa is reshaping Florida’s tourism industry.
But as the country struggles to recover from Hurricane Matthew, some experts fear a new wave of tourists could threaten Florida’s ability to attract international tourists and business.
Wyoming Tourism Experts on the EdgeOf CollapseExperts warn that a second wave of visitors could take a toll on Florida’s economy and tourism.
They also warn that an influx of refugees could be detrimental to tourism in the Sunshine State.
With the world in crisis, and the Middle Eastern and Asian markets in particular struggling with economic woes, Florida’s tourists have taken to the internet to warn their fellow Americans of the dire situation.
“You are a nation of immigrants, we want to welcome you to our country, we are all Americans,” Florida Gov.
Rick Scott said last week, urging people to pack their bags and get to the Florida Keys to see the country from the top.
The tourism industry in Florida is already suffering from the financial and social impacts of the economic crisis.
Since the hurricane hit, the state has lost nearly 2 million jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s more than double the state’s unemployment rate in the entire state.
The economic downturn has also made it harder for the state to recruit the highly skilled workers that it needs to attract the most talent to Florida.
“It’s been one of the hardest times in the history of tourism in Florida, and it’s going to be even more difficult in the future,” said Florida International University tourism professor Jim Hines.
“You have this enormous influx of people from the world.
They’re coming in and it is going to make things a lot worse.”
Hines says Florida is on the brink of another crisis.
“We’ve had a lot of hurricanes and we have had an uptick in traffic fatalities,” he said.
“There’s an influx coming in from a lot different directions, so the situation is getting more difficult and more complex.”
For now, the best advice for the Florida tourism industry is to be prepared.
“If you can go to the resort with a family or friends, go to it.
If you can’t, don’t,” Hines said.
The most important thing is to make sure you’re in good health and that you have the appropriate equipment and a good plan for how to get there.
“Make sure you are comfortable with the way that you are going to travel.
You don’t want to be walking to a resort with no plan, no knowledge of what you are about to do, but a plan that is in place and can be followed.”