Talk about enjoying a tourism home run … today, at loanDepot park, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) hosted its annual State of the Tourism and Travel Industry presentation and shared that Greater Miami and Miami Beach, renowned for its cultural diversity, stunning beaches, cutting-edge culinary establishments and thriving arts and culture offerings, witnessed another year of unprecedented travel growth.
According to Miami-Dade County’s official destination marketing organization, the statistics below confirmed what was expected to be a successful 2022 season:
- Greater Miami and Miami Beach welcomed more than 26.5 million visitors in 2022.
- This increased number of travelers reached into their pocketbooks and generated higher levels of spending ─ upwards of an estimated $20.8 billion ─ marking an 8% increase over 2021.
- More hotel guests accounted for the 17.1 million hotel room nights sold in 2022, representing an increase of 12.7% compared to 2021.
“We strongly believe that these 2022 results can be attributed to our destination’s all-star lineup of attractions, amenities, dining, accommodations and the tireless work of industry partners,” said David Whitaker, president and CEO of the GMCVB. “But the numbers by themselves don’t tell the whole story of what sustained success in this industry means. Tourism fuels job growth and economic vitality resulting in quality-of-life benefits as a result of visitor taxes that support everything from arts and culture to healthcare and transportation.”
The industry recovery that began in 2021 carried over into 2022 with sustained room bookings at record levels. At the forefront of travel, Miami International Airport (MIA) served more than 50.6 million travelers and welcomed new carriers including Southwest Airlines, JetBlue and Spirit Airlines. Despite challenges posed by international travel restrictions and extended visa wait times, Greater Miami and Miami Beach experienced a resurgence of its traditional international markets. The rebound in the international overnight visitor market highlighted a steady growth rate of 2.7% in 2022.
The cruise market made a triumphant return with a surge in guest volume that began in the summer, rebounding to 2019 levels.
Cumulatively, international visitors compromised 25% of the overnight market, with 4.7 million visitors, contributing to 29% of tourist expenditures. In particular, Latin America maintained its status as a key source market. Colombia was the leading international overnight market for the second consecutive year, accounting for 432,000 visitors.
“As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of the travel and tourism industry, 2022 serves as a powerful reminder of the appeal of our destination. The return of the international visitor has been key to our destination’s success,” said Bruce Orosz, GMCVB board chair. “With the reactivated GMCVB international office network spanning 50 cities in 53 countries, we’ve galvanized key resources to promote international travel to Greater Miami and Miami Beach. Innovation and collaboration are critical moving forward as we compete among global destinations to remain the business, leisure, conference and meetings location of choice for visitors from around the world.”
The meetings and conventions sector also experienced significant growth, with bookings filling the destination’s iconic Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) and surrounding hotels. Year to date, the GMCVB has worked to confirm 386 conventions and meetings, locking in 239,218 total room nights. For 2023, meetings and conventions of note include Bitcoin North America, Machine Learning and Systems, LE/Miami: This is Beyond, Florida International Medical Expo (FIME), American Black Film Festival and the American Vein and Lymphatic Society. Representatives from the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA, Jan. 10 – 13) and Exp Realty (Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2024, and Oct. 20 – 23, 2025) both made onsite announcements that their organizations have selected the MBCC for future conventions.
Notably, Greater Miami and Miami Beach’s hotels not only sold more rooms in 2022 but also exceeded 2021 by 13%. Moreover, hotel daily rates increased 14%, indicating a willingness among visitors to invest in unparalleled hospitality and luxury experiences. The increase in room sales and record-high hotel rates contributed to an increase in gross hotel revenue of 29%.
Unparalleled hospitality experiences include exquisite dining and thanks to publications like the Florida MICHELIN Guide, which debuted in 2022, and most recently Bon Appétit magazine naming Miami its Food City of the Year, Greater Miami and Miami Beach’s dining scene is generating unprecedented buzz.
Throughout the state of the industry event, the GMCVB showcased several new initiatives, including expanded multicultural tourism and development efforts, the Miami Begins With Me training program, Rainbow Spring and the popular Miami Temptations programs. These initiatives aim to raise awareness of the destination’s diverse heritage neighborhoods, create an authentic and welcoming experience for all visitors and provide promotions and savings at top eateries.
The GMCVB’s focus for 2023 includes expanding offerings and improving the visitor experience while at the same time delivering marketing and branding campaigns like “Find Your Miami,” a promotional effort that showcases the cultural richness of Miami’s neighborhoods and county-wide experiences. Among other presentation highlights, the GMCVB has zeroed in on the talent pipeline, specifically by supporting career development through its Black Hospitality Initiative and recently raised over $200,000 to support scholarships. The organization is also taking steps to broaden its commitment to sustainability and inclusivity.
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