tourism

The latest victim in the recent string of American tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic was identified by family as Vittorio Caruso of Glen Cove, N.Y.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The recent U.S. ban on cruise ships traveling to Cuba has had a ripple effect on South Florida's cruise industry. Yet not all of it is bad news.

In fact, it's bringing more attention to the southernmost port of call for these big ships in the continental U.S.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

The FBI is now helping local authorities in the Dominican Republic examine the mysterious deaths of three Americans who were staying at resorts in the island country in recent weeks, an FBI official has confirmed to NPR.

Since news of the deaths has spread, relatives of four additional Americans who died there over the past year have raised concerns.

Visit Florida Slashes Staff

May 24, 2019

Visit Florida cut one-third of its staff Thursday, slashing its payroll after the state Legislature cut funding for the tourism agency by 34 percent. 

Courtesy Purpose in Paradise

The U.S. Virgin Islands are finally rebounding after suffering two major hurricanes back-to-back. One tourism innovation may have played a part in that.

Courtesy of Disney

More visitors are coming to the sunshine state, according to new figures released by the state. But the state is losing ground on tourists from out of the country.

Florida announced today that 35.7 million visitors came to Florida in the first quarter – a new record.

“As we work to diversify Florida’s economy, it is critical that we keep visitation to Florida, and the revenue it generates, healthy and robust,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis in a press release.

Visit Florida Signs Off On Budget Cuts

May 15, 2019

Faced with a “prove-it” year to state lawmakers, the board of Florida’s tourism-marketing arm on Wednesday approved a 30 percent payroll cut.

A reluctant Visit Florida Board of Directors agreed to slash payroll by $3.65 million, and strategic marketing by $17.8 million, with an acknowledgement the agency must do a better job of selling itself to lawmakers, particularly in the House, which sought to eliminate the public-private agency during this year’s legislative session.

Visit Florida survived in the session -- but took a 34 percent funding cut.

ILLUSTRATION / ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES LTD.

The view from downtown Miami is about to look a whole lot different.

On Monday the Miami-Dade Tourism and Ports Committee approved a deal that would allow Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. to build a new office and parking garage on the land at the southwest corner of Dodge Island next to where its older offices sit now. The new campus would expand the company’s workforce capacity from 2,200 to 4,200.

The full board of commissioners will vote on the proposal in May.

Florida’s tourism and marketing agency could be going away if the Florida House has its way. It comes as tourism remains the state’s dominant industry, and the state continues recovering from toxic algae blooms and hurricanes. 

Discoizzy / Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of college students are crowding South Florida beaches as they normally do this time of year for spring break.

Most spring breakers land on Miami Beach, but the city is not happy with what it's seeing. According to the Miami Herald, there have been beach brawls,  heavy drinking and injured police officers.

Monroe County Code Compliance

If you look for vacation rentals in the Florida Keys, you may notice a lot of boats offered as lodging. Now Monroe County has brought a code compliance case against one of the owners.

Michael Dewitt says he's put $130,000 into fixing up his 40-foot sportfishing boat, docked behind his house on Little Torch Key.

So when a property manager approached him about renting it as a vacation rental on Airbnb, he agreed.

"It sat behind my house empty, I had a couple of neighbors that were doing the exact same thing - that are still doing the exact same thing," he said.

Florida tourism officials say a record number of visitors came to the state last year. 

Adam Berry / Getty Images

The business community in Florida is monitoring the Brexit turmoil across the pond.

 

This week, British lawmakers rejected a deal to leave the European Union. The United Kingdom is facing a March 29 deadline without a clear direction.

Discoizzy / Wikimedia Commons

The most recognizable landmark in Miami isn’t the historically Cuban enclave of Calle Ocho or the neon oasis of South Beach.

It’s apparently farther up shore at Bal Harbour Beach, according to a survey by 360Chicago.com.

The visitors site for a Chicago observation deck asked 2,000 residents from ten different cities to recognize several landmarks on a map.

Marjie Lambert / Miami Herald

A food service worker at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs has tested positive for Hepatitis A.

The Florida Department of Health says anyone who dined at the restaurant between Nov. 6-16 might have been exposed to the virus.

The DOH recommends people who ate or drank anything at the restaurant on those dates get vaccinated and remain alert to symptoms like dark urine, abdominal discomfort, fever or jaundice that require immediate medical attention.

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