Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced overnight visitors to Greater Miami and the beaches grew 6.7 per cent to a record-breaking 13.4 million in 2011.
This was fuelled by a 7.2 per cent increase to a record 6.5 million international visitors and an increase of 6.2 per cent to a record 6.9 million domestic visitors.
Latin America continued to be the leading source of international visitors, accounting for more than 4.4 million overnight visitors in 2011, a 9.2 per cent increase over 2010.
Brazil surpassed Canada in number of overnight visitors with more than 634,000 to become Greater Miami’s number one international market in 2011.
With international markets representing almost half of Greater Miami’s overnight visitors, the GMCVB aggressively supported efforts in 2011 to raise the awareness among legislative leaders of the need to improve Visa Waiver wait times and ultimately secure Visa Waiver for countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
These efforts by the GMCVB continue to be a top priority for the destination moving forward.
A record $20.7 billion in visitor expenditures was generated in 2011, a double digit increase of 10.1 per cent over the previous year with international expenditures representing 70 per cent of the total vs. domestic.
“The strength of the Miami brand continued to attract a record number of overnight visitors in 2011, helping the industry recover from the global recession,” says Steven Haas, chairman of the GMCVB board of directors.
Greater Miami’s leisure and hospitality industry employment grew to a record high of 109,400 jobs in 2011.
“Travel and tourism is a key source of employment for our community and it was exciting to see leisure and hospitality employment increase every month in 2011,” added Haas.