It’s not just seaweed that has been on the rise in Miami this year, with visits and hotel occupation up, as well as room rates. CMW investigates.
With 15.9m visitors in 2017, Greater Miami and the Beaches is one of the world’s most popular destinations. There may be an invasion of seaweed on the beaches in 2018 but The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) has announced a record-breaking $26bn in expenditures by overnight visitors to Greater Miami for the past year. The figure represents a +2.1% increase over the previous year.
Overnight visitors reached a record 15.9m in 2017 up 1% on 2016. Demand for the destination grew 4.7% with hotels selling more room nights in 2017 compared to 2016.
The trend has continued in 2018, hotel occupancy increasing 4.3% and room rates going up 11.8%. RevPAR was up a huge 16.6%, in the first quarter, according to Smith Travel Research.
The CVB attributes the positive momentum in hotel growth, in part, to its Hotel’s First marketing initiative launched in summer 2017. The hotel-centric marketing campaign, aimed to position hotels as the focal point to a visitor’s vacation.
An impressive list of global sporting events last year also helped drive good numbers, including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Week; International Champions Cup (Real Madrid vs. Barcelona); Pan American Weightlifting Championships; USA Weightlifting American Open Series II; and Jewish Community Centers (JCC) Maccabi Games. Bruce Orosz, GMCVB chair said these summer events helped fuel a record-breaking month of July across all hotel performance metrics including record-breaking number of rooms sold, occupancy and RevPar.
On the negative side, influences have included Hurricane Irma last September and the closure of the Miami Beach Convention Center for renovation.
Air arrivals up
Miami International Airport (MIA) is home to more airline carriers than any other airport in the country and arrivals were up by 0.4% in 2017 over a previous record-breaking year.
And Miami is not reliant on the domestic market: William D. Talbert, III, president and CEO for GMCVB has noted that, “at 49% Miami enjoys the highest percentage of international visitors than any other destination in the country.”
The GMCVB’s marketing strategy is to increase visitors’ length of stay. The Found in Miami marketing programme encourages travellers to go deeper into the destination and discover the cultural riches of multicultural neighborhoods such as Little Havana, Historic Overtown, Wynwood, West Grove, Little Haiti, and many more. By exploring Miami’s diverse neighborhoods visitors can discover authentic and soul-stirring experiences.