Floridians’ travel plans good news for tourism
TAMPA - Seventy percent of Florida residents plan to take a summer vacation of four days or more between May and September, 5 percent more than a year ago, an AAA Travel report said. “This year marks the second year that AAA data shows an increase in the number of Floridians who plan to take a summer vacation — a positive sign for the travel industry,” spokeswoman Jessica Brady said. The report showed 47 percent of Florida respondents said they would vacation at city destinations and 36 percent would head to a beach. The study did not report which state travelers might visit, but the summer trend is expected to bolster visitors to Florida, local officials said. “The expected increase is great news for our state,” said Santiago Corrada, chief executive of Tampa Bay & Company, Hillsborough County’s visitors bureau. “We are implementing a summer leisure campaign in cooperation with many of our local partners including Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to bring visitors to our market.”Pinellas County last summer drew 325,000 of its 1.6 million overnight visitors from Florida, and the county is expecting more this year. “Absolutely we are,” said D.T. Minich, executive director of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, the county’s visitors bureau.