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Having lived and worked in my Miami for years, I wonder how Miami keep their visitors coming, may it be for the first time or a return trip. Back in 2009, when the economy sank the lowest in years, local businesses were suffering. Even during winter, when Miami was supposed to be making big bucks, restaurants along the famous street, Ocean Drive, were offering as much as fifty percent discount. I remember sitting in an empty café, having a nice hot breakfast, in which I paid about 12 dollars for.
That won’t happen today.
The hotels and restaurants on South Beach seem to be doing fine. As the matter of fact, many hotels are doing excellent, selling out their rooms every weekend – and not at a discounted price. According to Smith Travel Research, the average daily rates for Miami are up 13.1 percent, where a place like Washington DC experiences a close to 3 percent drop. Moreover, Miami Convention and Visitor Bureau’s figures suggested 2011 will be better than last year. Already, the first quarter of this year resulted in a gain of 11% in occupancy when comparing to the same period last year.
It would be no surprise to see lots of tourists during the winter period, where events such as South Beach Food and Wine Festival and Ultra Music Conference brought in people. Now in May, as the weather down here warms up and the weather up north becomes more pleasant, Miami, as many would think, should automatically turn into a less desirable place to escape.
Well, that was not the case.
So, what bring people to Miami? For many, it’s the climate. As for Aviv Shufman, a Toronto resident, it was because “We were looking for something fun. We went to Las Vegas last year and we wanted something similar for this year”.
Moris Pierce, another Toronto Resident, who was debating between Miami and Los Angeles prior to his trip, said “Miami is somewhere warmer. There’s a lot more to do here, especially nightlife. The beaches here are nice also.”
With so many Canadians roaming around town over the past weekend, I had to ask if there were any special deals going on at all, from their departure city, and they all said in a quick agreement “No. The price has no influence on our decision whatsoever. As the matter of fact, the package we bought was not cheap. We chose Miami because we wanted to be here.”
It is an advantage that what Miami offers is available all year round. The beach is always going to be there. The weather is always going to allow beachgoers to wear bikinis. On top of that, people in Miami love to party and for this reason, the nightlife is always exciting.
Other than the sun and fun factors, fortunately, Miami gets to pick up transit travelers who are on their way to South America or the Caribbean. Some are continuing their journey on a 30 days transatlantic cruise while others are visiting relatives in Ecuador.
As Miami is approaching summer, local businesses fear the decrease in tourism. But until then, pool parties anyone?