CRANIS: I believe we will see a resurgence of snowbirds coming back
What is happening? It’s the end of 2021 already? I think time is speeding up. I have a theory that as you age, your perception of time alters and that as you get older, it compresses so that years seem to sneak by. That’s certainly what happened this year.
Not only were we in a post-COVID recovery year (supposedly), but moving both our offices and my house, everything seemed so compressed. But it was a good year and we have to be happy about that. Sure there were challenges, but every year brings those.
From a tourism and business perspective, it was very good. Tourism tax revenues are up, more hotels are online, people are traveling again, the international borders are open, cruise ships are sailing close to full capacity, launches continued at a great pace, and Orlando is beginning to recover.
That being said, 2022 could be even better. As Father New Year rests his staff and Baby New Year begins, let’s take a look at some highlights we have to look forward to.
Starting with the January/February time period, I believe we will see a resurgence of snowbirds coming back, including Canadians. It’s been 2 years and I just feel that we will see a big wave of people coming from the great white North.
Then we get into Spring Break – March and April. I have already written that I think we are poised on what could be our biggest Spring Break in history with Easter not happening until mid-April. It could really extend the season. Plus we will have a $1 million marketing campaign promoting the season so that will certainly help.
Then we get that gap period between Easter and Memorial Day. I don’t think the gap will dip quite as much as I still think there is pent-up demand out there. Plus we can look forward to the Thunder on Cocoa Beach boat races and the Space Coast Air Show to be held in Titusville the weekend before Memorial Day weekend.
Then we have summer. Could this summer top this past summer? I’m not sure, but indicators are certainly good. We will run a $2 million marketing campaign from May to September so that should give us a nice boost.
If we can avoid a resurgence of any peaking from the virus, keep gas prices reasonable, and temper inflation, people will certainly be willing and able to travel, even more so than this past year.
It’s a little early to make any projections, but it has the potential to be a strong season. So 2022, overall could be a great year. I’m just going to assume that it will be – we all deserve it!. Happy New Year to all and we’ll see you next year!
– Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director