Florida Tourism Industry Is Magic, Shutdown or Not
Around the State
Florida’s top economic industry will most likely endure the government shutdown without major consequence.
Tourism is a $67 billion annual boon for the Sunshine State, according to recent figures, and despite the budget impasse in Washington, D.C., Florida’s beaches, resorts and nearly all of the state’s renowned tourist attractions remain open for business.
Air travel, including international flights, continues uninterrupted. The Transportation Security Administration further remains on duty for public safety reasons.
But visitors hoping to experience Florida’s three national parks – Everglades, Biscayne and the Dry Tortugas – aren’t so lucky. They’re closed until further notice.
Still, state parks are open, along with 1,600 miles of public greenways and trails.
“Florida State Parks welcome more than 25 million visitors each year at 171 state parks encompassing more than 800,000 acres,” according to floridastateparks.org.
Top entertainment destinations and resorts like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Orlando and Sea World are private businesses and not directly affected by the shutdown.
A 2012 industry report ranked seven Florida theme parks among the world’s top 25, including Walt Disney World’s top-rated Magic Kingdom. The Central Florida attraction had over 17.5 million visitors last year.
But if history is any guide, Congress and President Obama will likely resolve their spending dispute sooner rather than later. Since 1976, the federal government has closed 17 different times, but only for an average of 6.4 days.
Contact William Patrick at email@example.com or follow Florida Watchdog on Twitter at @watchdogfla