After continued growth in the tourism industry over the last decade, Florida is now ranked below only New York in volume of international visitors per year, promising a bright future for the state’s economy. In fact, there has already been a 6.4% increase in spending in the tourism and recreation industry in Florida since last year, as reported by the Washington Economics Group.
Much of this growth has been facilitated by a recent surge of Brazilian tourism. In April, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported a 15% increase in Brazilian visitors to the United States since 2012, totaling over 2 million in 2013. By 2018, the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries is projecting a 50% overall increase of Brazilian tourists. If this is realized, the US will host over 3 million Brazilian visitors a year with Florida as their top destination.
In his article for The Gainesville Sun, Douglas Smith attributes much of the credit for this influx of Brazilian tourists to Hillary Clinton. In just one year during her time as Secretary of State, there was a 58% increase in visa processing capacity in Brazil. To accommodate this spike, ten additional flights per week were introduced between Miami and Brazil.
Increased tourism is extremely beneficial for the economy as it attracts positive attention to the country while funneling in large amounts of money and creating thousands of jobs for local residents. Tourism is particularly crucial in Florida as it is currently the state’s largest industry, generating over $70 billion in revenue annually.