Apart from some critical Democrats like AOC and Whitmer, many Americans have flocked to the Sunshine State for vacations due to the reasonable approach to COVID-19. Rather than locking down the state and mandating vaccines and masks, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis took a scientific and data-based approach focusing on preventive treatment for the most vulnerable population, prophylactic treatment many, and therapeutic protocols for those who contracted the virus.
Florida’s COVID-19 cases align with national averages and seasonal effect, while the economy and travel industry have bounced from 2020 lows. More Americans are venturing out to the state where they can have fun in the sun. It is nearly a complete turnaround. Data from 2021 shows that 122.4 million travelers visited the Sunshine State compared to 131 million every 2019.
Visit Florida, the tourism site, reported that during the second quarter of 2021. Around 32 million guests went during the summer months. That is just 2.2% lower than 2019. It is 223.4% higher than the summer of lockdowns in 2020. More Americans visited Florida this spring than in 2019. Tourists and vacationers coming via plane and car were comparable to 2019.
Visitors at the Orlando International Airport increased 677.9% since the low in 2020. Miami International Airport traffic has increased 832.7% over 2020. Flights have increased in all seven Florida airports, including Sarasota and Key West. Hotel and vacation home rentals have increased 71.1% since 2020. Amusement parks in Florida were revived, top-rated destinations like Walt Disney World, which required guests to mask up.
This massive bounce back is attributable to Ron DeSantis’ leadership. It is an incredible accomplishment, and other Governors should notice it.
Because Florida has struck down inordinate and nutty COVID-19 limitations, DeSantis continued to invite vacationers to the Sunshine State. Over 29 million Floridians vacationed within the state. Global visitors were lower than usual. There were 1.5 million visits from abroad in the fourth quarter of 2021. It is relatively low. For example, only 359,000 Canadians visited a 66% drop from 2019. But maybe Canadians are growing a backbone, as the Freedom Convoy and Trucker protest has demonstrated.
DeSantis has crusaded against the lockdowns. He refused to buy into the Big Pharma lobby-supported vaccine mandates to battle COVID-19. You should not need to produce your medical history or vaccine paperwork to get a burger. DeSantis noted that in Florida, requiring vaccine identifications and forcing people to display private records are not part of state law.
People are growing less afraid of COVID-19. An inundation of guests to Florida might misrepresent case counts elsewhere in the country. The CDC doesn’t recognize COVID-19 cases among individuals who test positive in their home state from those who test positive somewhere else. But the CDC has already discredited its reporting guidelines by adjusting deaths “with COVID-19” and those “from COVID-19,” which is a considerable distinction they could have made from the beginning.
Let all follow the leader. DeSantis is showing the country the way out of this pandemic. Even states without copious sunshine and miles of coastline can enjoy the freedom that comes with embracing the truth. Life is best lived well.