DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tourism is back in a big way in Central Florida, including Volusia County.
According to the Lodging and Hospitality Association, hotel occupancy in Volusia County is up by 400%, a significant increase from April 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic was hitting hard.
“Just about every hotel ... on the beachside and inland are doing extremely better than they’ve ever done -- in the history of Daytona Beach,” said Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Lodging & Hospitality Association.
Davis explained that tourism numbers began to increase this past spring at events like Bike Week and spring break.
“It’s the nation wanting to get out -- get out of their homes, take their families away and recoup somewhere,” Davis said.
Because of the busy summer, Davis said more workers are needed in hotels and restaurants.
“I know everybody, not only in my industry but in all industries, (the problem) is the labor force, but that will come slowly to us. They need their jobs, they need their vacation pay,” Davis said.
Sandy and Bob Urban, of New York, have a condo in Daytona Beach. They decided to leave their home and come to Central Florida after getting their COVID-19 vaccines.
“As soon as we got the shot, we waited a few weeks and came down here and we felt secure,” Bob Urban said.
“I think everybody wants to get away, but you’ve got to get that shot,” Sandy Urban added.
Others are flocking to Daytona Beach, too.
“We came down to enjoy 10 days of relaxation, except for Elsa, which came through, but it’s been pretty good so far,” said Steve Brittain, of India.