Terry Connor waits on customers at Anglin's Beach Cafe on Lauderdale-by-the-Sea ... (Amy Beth Bennett, Sun Sentinel)
| By Doreen Hemlock and Arlene Satchell, SunSentinel December 26, 2012 | By Doreen Hemlock and Arlene Satchell, SunSentinel
South Florida is poised for another record year in tourism in 2013, fueled by gains in international visitors, travel executives predict.
But challenges loom Also, including the potential drag on U.S. travel if Washington goes off the fiscal cliff and possible cutback in tourism spending by U.S. residents northeast hit by Superstorm Sandy.
In 2012, South Florida hosted record numbers of visitors who spent more than ever, led by growth in tourism powerhouse Miami-Dade County.
Broward County hit a new high for the budget year: 12 million visitors who spent $ 9.8 billion, up about 9 percent, thanks largely to surging arrivals from South America. And Palm Beach County hotels were poised to finish the year about 68 percent full, up by 3 points, Mainly aided by recovery in the U.S. economy and business travel.
Also spurring tourism: a rebound in real-estate prices and credit. That's reviving the market for new hotels que had stalled with recession. At least two new hotels are slated to open in Broward in 2013: the 105-unit Hampton Inn & Suites in Coconut Creek and the 219-room oceanfront Marriott Pompano Beach. Could and construction finally begin on the long-awaited 349-room Margaritaville resort on Hollywood beach, pending the final approval for $ 75 million in funding from Starwood Capital, developers said.
"I think international arrivals will be the main driver for growth in 2013 because of new flights to South Florida, " said Nicki Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau. "And the U.S. dollar remains cheap Compared to other currencies, Which makes it easier for visitors to come here and to buy When they're here."
Several airlines including JetBlue and Spirit have added service to Latin America and the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale. And American Airlines is beefing up its already huge Latin American hub in Miami, even expanding to new cities in Brazil, the No. 1 source of overseas travelers to Florida, said the airports.
To tap growing South American business, Broward's tourism bureau plans to hire its first representative company in Brazil this budget year. And Palm Beach County 's tourism bureau is exploring the Possibility of hiring a marketing rep there too, said Jorge Pesquera, president of the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Also South Florida hotels are reaching out to lure more international guests. The 240-unit B Ocean Fort Lauderdale beach resort is translating its website into Spanish and Portuguese, said general manager Eduardo Fernandez. B Ocean finished in 2012, its second year in business, about 68 percent full at average rates topping $ 150 a night. It targets growth of about 15 percent in its third year of business, with help from aggressive marketing on the Internet and through mobile applications, said Fernandez.
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Colombia - No Stranger to Medical Tourism2007-07-27 07:56:18 by FirstCareColombia
The so-called medical tourism craze is nothing new to Colombian clinics and doctors who have been treating savvy patients for years. Just because 60 minutes made a program in 2005 everyone now thinks it the "latest and greatest." In fact, the US was treating many foreign patients for years until 9-11 made it problematic for persons to get visas (especially Middle Easterners). So they just went e...ays something). Do they have FDA approved drugs -- hip/knees? (Really important -- don't put yourself in a position where you have to repeat a procedure years later cuz it wasn't done the right way the first time). BTW, down with this hip resurfacing nonsense. Why should you fall victim to this "corner cutting scam" when you can have a real hip replcment doen with FDA approved parts in Colombia?
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