Florida’s Tourism Industry May be Wrecked Thanks to Irma
This is going to be a huge problem for the Caribbean as well, particularly given the outbreak of violence and looting on St. Martin:
Hurricane Irma’s path of destruction up Florida’s Gulf Coast on Sunday threatens to disrupt a thriving state tourism industry worth more than $100 billion annually just months ahead of the busy winter travel season.
Some of the state’s biggest attractions have announced temporary closures, including amusement park giants Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Legoland and Sea World, which all planned to close through Monday.
About 20 cruise lines have Miami as a home port or a port of call, according to the PortMiami website, and many have had to move ships out of the area and revise schedules.
Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean have canceled and revised several sailings as a result of the storm and have offered credits and waivers on trips where passengers are unable to travel.
Florida is one of the world’s top tourism destinations. Last year nearly 113 million people visited the state, a new record, and spent $109 billion, state officials said earlier this year. The first half of 2017 was on track to beat that record pace, officials said.