A series of warnings from Florida’s tourism bureau and the Florida Department of Transportation over the weekend have sent the state’s economy into a tailspin.
Ahead of Florida’s upcoming Presidential Inauguration on January 20, Florida’s travel advisory issued by the Florida Tourism Office warned that if the presidential inauguration went as planned, it would lose 1.2 million visitor days and more than 100,000 hotel nights.
The advisory, released on Saturday, said that, because of the predicted weather conditions and the possibility of a major snowstorm, “travel will be difficult and disruption will be severe for many of the state and local travel agencies and organizations that depend on tourism as a vital source of revenue.”
The travel advisory said it was “not yet clear” how many of those events will occur, but added that, “the number of visitors is increasing steadily as the nation transitions to a new administration.”
In addition to the travel advisory, the Department of Tourism and Tourism Industries of Florida released a “Plan for Florida’s Future: A Critical Look at Tourism,” which said the “threat to tourism and the economic development of the Sunshine State is becoming more and more evident.”
The plan called for a decrease in the number of tourists by about 4.5 million, while the “economic impact” of tourism would drop by $2.6 billion.
In addition, the state will lose another $1.3 billion in revenue by 2020 if the economy continues to decline, the tourism advisory warned.
A recent survey conducted by the Tampa Bay Times found that the state is facing the most serious financial crisis in its history, with the economy and tourism being “the most vulnerable sectors to financial losses.”
The state has already reported a decline in visitor numbers from 2016 through 2017, according to the Times.
The state lost 1.3 million visitors and $2 billion in economic activity in 2017.
In February 2018, a Florida Department Of Transportation report said that if Florida continues on its current path, by 2020, Florida will face a $1 billion shortfall in its tourism revenue.
The transportation advisory warned that the projected budget deficit could reach $2 trillion by 2026.
A spokesperson for the Florida Chamber of Commerce said that the tourism industry is “in a very difficult economic situation.”
The spokesperson said that many of its members are “unable to find a job” because of their work.
Florida is facing a budget shortfall of $4.4 billion, and the state has reported a loss of $1,000 in tourism revenue for each visitor in the past two years.
The state’s tourism advisory was issued in response to a recent report from the Congressional Research Service that warned that Florida’s economic growth has been in decline.
The report also said that Florida had a “long history of declining economic activity.”