“We’re open for business,” said Brian Orosz, chairman of the 2020/2021 Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) executive committee, during today’s 2021 GMCVB Annual State of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry. “Miami and the Beaches are doing much better than the rest of the country,” added William Talbert, GMCVB’s president and CEO, pointing to 2021 air, hotel and dining numbers, which are very similar to 2019 numbers.

Looking at the same weeks in 2019 and 2021, Talbert notes that the numbers for hotel and air are approaching 2019 levels, with 2021 air at 76.8 percent and hotel at 93.1 percent of 100 percent total. Dining has surpassed 2019 numbers, at 126.5 percent (as compared to 100 percent levels in 2019). “We are excited about these numbers,” noted Talbert. Occupancy forecast for the week of July 4 is 72 percent (2019 same week had 73 percent occupancy). It is forecasted that hotel occupancy for the week of May 30 will surpass 2019 levels by 1 percent (a big deal when you consider the year we’ve just had).

Orosz pointed to the events coming to the city, including the 20th anniversary of SOBEWFF; the Air & Sea Show in Miami Beach; the American Black Film Festival; Florida Supercon; and Nature Miami (in January 2022) as well as Art Basel. And Seatrade is back at the Miami Beach Convention Center this Sept. 27-30, 2021. Orosz noted that the “convention center has changed the city for the better,” pointing to the new 800-room hotel that is set for a 2023 opening, the Grand Hyatt Miami Beach.

“I think this community is thriving,” said Arnold W. Donald, chief executive officer of Carnival Corporation & plc, during the industry event, who also spoke about the impact of cruising on port cities and CDC guidance for the reopening of the cruise industry. “The spirit of Miami and its commitment to the travel and tourism industry, that’s what attracts people in the end. You can feel a love of life.”

News to know: American Airlines was also present and they pointed to the new flight from MIA to Tel Aviv starting June 4 (3x weekly).

For more information, visit miamiandbeaches.com/travel-professionals.