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MAY 2024 TALLAHASSEE — Florida announced record tourism numbers for the first quarter of 2024, as totals for international visitors, including from the UK,  continue to move closer to pre-pandemic levels.  Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office and VISITFLORIDA tourism agency [www.visitflorida.org] said an estimated 40.6 million people traveled to Florida during the first three months of the year, a 1.2 percent increase from the same period in 2023.  This is most ever for a single quarter. An estimated 2.13 million overseas travelers, many from the UK  and 1.284 million Canadian visitors traveled to the state.

► [2024] This fact never changes:  From a NEWS REPORT from Washington DC by McClatchy News Service September 16, 2006:   “The US Government still has no means of tracking foreign travellers arriving in America, even though Congress passed a bill and approved $900 million dollars to create a tracking system called US-VISIT.   But it never got off the ground properly and there is still no system to track foreigners when they leave, Homeland Security officials said. The article said the US Government has a partial system to track SOME foreigners on arrival, but no system to headcount if/when they leave.  All of which adds to the reason why nobody can provide an official figure on the number of Brits in America.”  [It does not keep the USCIS immigration system accurate or efficient either—PK].  

2024 ►  HOW MANY BRITS LIVE/WORK IN FLORIDA?   This is the question I’m asked constantly by reporters, agencies, Brits and curious Americans.    THE ANSWER:   Nobody tracks it—nobody can.   Arriving Brits are not required to register officially,  so even if you wanted to headcount them you couldn’t.  Tourist Brits, who are counted  by USCIS and Florida tourism officials  have to leave after 3 months.  The British Bureau of Florida has the only statewide database, compiled since 1991 as part of our dealings with the British community in Florida.  We maintain a proprietary computer database broken down by Florida area code [305], [904] [407] [386] [941] etc, which we use for our PR work across the state.   We can fairly accurately estimate there are 400,000 Brits living in Florida permanently or temporarily.  This is based on our vast database of Brits in all areas, British businesses and professionals, FABB members and the prior Florida circulation list of the Union Jack British Newspaper.  But that figure fluctuates and my office can’t know every arriving British individual or business. Britons move in and out of Florida daily, setting up businesses, emigrating here, returning to UK for good, alive or dead!  NOTE:   When I posed the question in person to the British Ambassador to the USA in 1993,  the top British official here, for my Union Jack Newspaper column he said:  “Frankly Patricia,  the British Government has no idea how many Brits are in Florida.  And you can quote me on that. That’s our official answer!”   To date, that UK Government answer hasn’t changed. —PK, Publisher

flagman  UK BRITS LOVE MIAMI, FLYING AND SAILING IN YEAR-ROUND! The Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, tracks arrivals from UK [and other countries]. Call office [305] 539-3000 or see www.miamiandbeaches.com

► UK TOURIST NUMBERS TO ENTIRE STATE OF FLORIDA  Consult www.visitflorida.org the state’s tourism website or call [850] 488-5607. They supply/track that information and maintain current figures.

► MEDIA ONLY for background/official information your shows and articles on Florida:   Call the State’s Press Office in Tallahassee, the state capital on [850]  487-2568.  This is inside the Governor’s Office [850] 488-7146   

►   The United Kingdom has long been Florida’s most important international market outside of Canada. And the numbers show why.  1.3 million tourists from the UK visited Florida annually. But it’s more important than just the volume of visitors, Visit Florida Florida President Will Seccombe said.   British tourists spend and spend and spend. The data shows us a Brit is going to spend more than any other foreign visitor, say Visit Florida, the State’s official tourism marketing agency based in Tallahassee.  

►  The population of Florida is over 21 million [in 2022] with 1000 people day moving to this state. For this year’s Florida numbers consult the official website: https://www.census.gov

►  British firms employ about 40,000 people in Florida,  making Britain the largest foreign job supporter in the Sunshine State. This figure obviously changes, up or down.  For further/current UK trade information phone the Miami British Consulate on [305] 400-6400. Press the Trade option. 

■  BRITISH VISITORS abound year-round in Florida but Miami specifically increases in popularity year by year.  [I don’t have figures into Orlando and Tampa airports]. I hear British accents everywhere in Miami and English blokes walking around in football fan shirts, shaming their prettily dressed wives.  Why do so many British male tourists to Florida men think suitable vacation wear is a West Ham shirt?  Male tourists from Italy are divinely dressed in linen trousers and fitted shirts—sigh.

►  Tony Blair’s UK Government  Think Tank contacted my office in May 2006 to provide figures for their research, to ascertain the number of British expatriates in Florida.  [I suspect for voter outreach].  Also in 2006 The British Consulate in Orlando set up a system whereby they could track the British community in Florida, in case of distress in hurricanes etc, and consulted me.  They asked me to publicise it via my Union Jack Newspaper newspaper column to expats in Florida, which I did then and in 2011.   The Consulate now has a voluntary system where Brits can register–see it explained on BRITISH CONSULATES page on this website.  The number of Brits in Florida literally goes up and down every day.   —PK Publisher.

►  FLORIDA PROPERTY FACT:   UK buyers comprise 7% and come 5th in the foreign top ten.  In South Florida,  60% of buyers are foreign nationals,  many from Europe.
[SOURCE:  National Association of Realtors]. 

►  UK COMPANIES IN FLORIDA:  There are about 300 UK-affiliated companies in Florida, employing thousands of Floridians. For current figures phone the British Consulate-General  in Miami on [305] 400-6400.  Choose the UK Trade Office option

► [Pre-Corona 2020] 1.4 million British tourists visit Florida each year–official figures fro State Tourism Department. One third of all visitors to Busch Gardens in Tampa are British, Busch Gardens PR department confirmed.  For latest numbers of visitors from UK, phone Florida‘s State Department of Tourism in Tallahassee on [850] 488-5607.  

1]  Florida comes second to California as the most popular state for Brits to settle,  the USCIS announced in 2006.
2] The most popular
Florida areas Brits choose to settle in are:   Broward-Miami-Dade area, second Orlando, third Sarasota and Tampa.
South Dakota is the least popular state with emigrating Brits—The Brokeback Brits, tee hee?
4] Most
UK Brits came here on family visas [marriage to Americans etc] rather than E2/B1/B2 work/business visas.
£$  TIP:  WANT TO SAVE WHEN TRANSFERRING over UK CURRENCY?   DON’T USE YOUR BANK!  Use Moneycorp.  [ I use Moneycorp myself–FABB President.]  TO FIND OUT MORE:    Phone Moneycorp’s Kelly Cutchin on  [863] 207-6616 at their USA HQ in Orlando to ask all your questions.  Or email your query to Kelly Cutchin  kelly.cutchin@moneycorp.com The pound is shaky.  That affects all expats in Florida who still have UK dealings. To transfer your precious funds, we highly recommend you use the services of Moneycorp.  At lower rates than any bank!  This will save you fees and grief, as we Londoners say!  What your own bank won’t do is save considerable  exchange fees, like Moneycorp.   THE BEST WAY:   Moneycorp, the UK company with an office in Florida and droves of satisfied Florida clients. It is the only UK currency exchange company licenced to deal in 50 states.   Many expat Brits here have used this currency service for years and report huge savings and satisfaction.      Moneycorp’s HQ is in England.   Posted by the Florida Association of British Business [FABB].  Moneycorp have been trusted members since 2005.