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NEWS: The Omicron COVID-19 variant is expected to curb international tourism in Florida


Travel has been hit hard by the global pandemic.

Crowds of spring break at Orlando International Airport

There have been a number of restrictions and requirements when it comes to travel, especially for international travelers arriving in the United States. And while tourism seemed to be recovering in Florida, COVID-19’s new concerns could severely affect the industry.

Florida economists say that the new variant of the omicron coronavirus will slow down tourism in the state, especially when it comes to international visitors, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Members of the State Economic Estimates Conference agreed on slightly lower expectations until mid-2022 for Canadian and foreign travelers.

Orlando International Airport

According to the Sentinel, Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, said he hopes the highly contagious variant will affect people’s decisions to travel to and from Florida.

Orlando International Airport

Florida’s tourism industry did better than expected in the third quarter of 2021, and it arrived 32.6 million visitors, according to the Sentinel. This was 2 million more than expected and 0.3% above the total number of visitors in the third quarter of 2019. Almost 90% of visitors to Florida this year have come from other states.

Orlando Airport Travel Warning Sign

Sentinel says officials at Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm, have been expecting an increase in Canadian and foreign tourists since the White House eased travel restrictions for vaccinated people in November. But, the rules changed once again due to the omicron variant, which has now arrived in the US

© CNN

According to the US State Department, the US has restricted travel from several African countries as of November 29, 2021 due to concerns about the omicron variant. This includes Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Travel restrictions continue

Beginning in early December, the U.S. tightened pre – exit testing protocols require all incoming international travelers to be tested within one day of departure worldwide, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. ” We’ll keep you posted on the most important travel news, so stay tuned to DFB for more information.

Click here to see current U.S. travel restrictions






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