Destination Studies: Improving Identifiable Communities and Improving Visitor Demographics
Destinations, one of the leading tourism marketing companies in the United States, have released their latest report entitled Destinations: State of Florida. The report offers a detailed examination of the state of Florida’s tourism economy, including examining the impacts on visitors to and residents of Florida. It is important, as any tourist or travel writer would know, to always keep track of the changing trends within any industry. And where do trends lie? In the tourism industry of Florida, which is at the very heart of what makes Florida known as a tourist destination.
Destinations Florida launched Destination Marketing: Empowered Growth Report. This study was done to examine the current state of Florida as tourist destinations. What was noted was that although the economy has been recovering somewhat, still there are issues with over-valuing real estate and the lack of planning by local and regional governmental entities. Other aspects of the study were analyzing the impact on Florida’s wildlife and aquatic ecosystem as well as the value placed on imagined communities along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Florida has a long standing tradition of creating these imagined communities, whether or not they make sense to tourists, often resulting in a loss of tourism revenue.
As outlined by Destinations, a plan must be developed for all levels of government to work together in order to improve the way tourism is regulated, especially in the tourism dominated tourism industry sector of Florida. Among the recommendations outlined in the Destinations Florida report are creating a marine park and protected area along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, creation of a new Economic Development Zone in Tampa Bay and the encouragement of non-traditional tourism like Scuba diving, boating, and windsurfing among other activities. These actions seem to be well supported by the tourism business in Florida. Tourism, and the money that comes with it, are a huge part of the Florida economy, and many local officials see the industry as a key driver of the Florida State’s recovery. These actions seem to be a step in the right direction.