Tampa region still booming with tourists despite COVID, per Visit Tampa Bay

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Posted at 5:15 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 17:15:35-05

TAMPA, Fla. — People in the travel industry from around the world are in Tampa seeing everything Florida has to offer.

They're here for a trade show called the Florida Huddle. And while the weather outside on Wednesday wasn't so great they know they’ll find plenty of sunshine here year-round.

“We are very happy to be back in Tampa and to be bringing Canadians your way," said Audrey Tanguay Beaudette with Air Canada.

Canada and the United Kingdom lead the way in international tourists that come to the Tampa Bay region.

And overall our area is setting records.

Since April of last year, Visit Tampa Bay said Hillsborough County has had more visitors coming every month than pre-pandemic.

“We’ve been growing. We’ve added 3,000 hotel rooms during the pandemic year. That’s unheard of. Other cities around the country were shutting down hotels that have never reopened,” said Visit Tampa Bay CEO Santiago Corrado.

For many visitors, the attraction is Florida’s openness compared to places like Canada.

“It feels like a breath of fresh air to be walking around and living life, eating in restaurants, and meeting with people without necessarily social distancing,” said Tanguay Beaudette.

“We were always telling travelers that when they were ready this was a safe destination to visit,” said Corrado.

Tampa also has much more to offer than even a few years ago.

“Here you come back six years later. There’s a Water Street, there’s a Midtown, there’s a Riverwalk. There are new attractions. There are new restaurants, which is hard to find in a lot of other places,” said Corrado.

Along with tourists, Tampa is also continuing to draw more visitors for conventions.

Some of which are moving from other states with more restrictions.