Each year, many northerners migrate to South Florida to enjoy the mild winter climate & its beautiful beaches. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, many believe that this year will see substantially fewer visitors though. If true, this is certainly unfortunate news for a South Florida tourism economy that is already suffering. Although the number of COVID-19 cases in South Florida seem to have stabilized or decreased, many seasonal residents may not be willing to travel.
One such group of visitors that are delaying their travels to The Sunshine State are our Canadian friends. As of now, the U.S. – Canadian border remains closed & the COVID-19 case trends will certainly impact any future visits. Essentially, this results in hundreds of thousands of Canadian visitors that will be sidelined for the upcoming winter season. As of a week ago, Canada had recorded 135,000 cases and 9,163 deaths, numbers that pale before the 6.42 million cases and 192,000 deaths in the U.S. Florida, which is ranked third among the 50 states in cases, had 655,000, or roughly five times the number of cases in Canada.
Fortunately, the U.S. government has initiated “Operation Warp Speed” to develop, manufacture, and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. However, it is difficult to say if it will be enough to salvage this upcoming winter season for many of our northern friends.