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Floridians Are Eager To Travel To Europe, But European Visitors To Florida Will Have To Wait

Photo: Spencer Davis
Photo: Spencer Davis

Floridians are booking trips to Europe, after last week's announcement that tourists are being welcomed back by the European Union starting this summer. However, it could be a while before visitors from Europe and elsewhere return to the Sunshine State.

The past year has been grim for travel agents like Janice Sinardi. But following the EU announcement, the phone at her Temple Terrace office started ringing off the hook.

“I've had inquiries for Spain, a lot for Italy, because Italy is one of the No. 1 places most people want to go to,” she said. “But France, Greece. As a matter of fact, this morning, I booked somebody to Greece for late June.”

Crossing the Atlantic will be easier starting next month, as British Airways returns to Tampa International Airport. Flights to Zurich resume in July, and direct service to Germany comes back in September.

Don’t expect to see the surge in outbound traffic translate into visits to Florida right away. The U.S. remains closed to most international visitors, including Canadians. according to Visit Florida, 3.6 million people from Canada visited Florida in 2019.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently said 75% of Canada's population will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the U.S. border can reopen.

The U.S. Travel Association, an industry trade group, is calling on the Biden administration to relax restrictions on international travel. “Based on science and data, resumption of travel between low-risk countries, and in particular among vaccinated individuals, should be allowed to resume,” the USTA said in an open letter to President Biden.

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Bradley George