Tourism set to peak again at Pensacola Beach despite rising costs

While 2020 was historically the year when everyone was stuck at home2021 has arrived quickly as a banner year for Pensacola tourism.

It was wondered if that momentum would continue into 2022 once people got over their initial turmoil to travel, but early numbers indicate that Pensacola Beach is on track for another successful tourist season.

Visit Pensacola’s quarterly snapshot from January to March 2022 shows a 20% increase in visitors compared to 2021. Some of the main reasons included the reopening of the Pensacola Bay Bridge in 2022, a greater attraction for Pensacola special events and an increase in city publicity.

Traffic appears to be heavily regional, as 18% of visitors to Pensacola were identified as coming from another part of Florida, followed by Alabama at 11%, then Texas at 6%.

Good news for commuters:Florida appropriates Garcon Point Bridge; cash toll is now $2.75

Crowds visit Christafari during the fifth annual Family Beach Fest in Pensacola Beach on Saturday, May 28, 2022. The festival was a free concert honoring God, family and the military.

However, as eager tourists gear up for their annual beach vacation, budget concerns for some families have also increased with each rise in gas prices.

Rick Harper, director of UWF’s Office of Economic Development and Engagement, doesn’t expect the increase to be enough to completely cancel Pensacola’s plans, largely because it’s primarily a vacation destination by car.

“The fact that we’re essentially a drive-to market means we’re going to be the net beneficiary of some of the substitution in the vacation market,” Harper said. “Families who might have considered flying from Chicago to Disney World may well find these tickets too expensive. And they can instead take the day-and-a-half trip to come to northwest Florida.

Comments are closed.