PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The reopening of the South Florida economy is beginning to show some positive signs in air travel and the hotel industry.
“I think people are getting over their fear of flying,” said Leslie Stevens of North Carolina before she boarded a flight home at Palm Beach International Airport.
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Passengers arriving on flights from Baltimore and Charlotte Wednesday afternoon said their planes were three-quarters full.
A spokesperson for PBIA said right now the airport is averaging about 3,000 passengers a day, improving from the numbers that were below 1,000 the first week of May.
“As we see our passenger numbers start to increase, we want to make sure people know that PBI is ready when you’re ready to travel again,” said PBIA spokeswoman Lacy Larson.
Normally this time of year, Larson said PBIA would see 20,000 passengers a day. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the airport was on a record pace of seven million passengers annually.
On Singer Island, the Marriott Resort is also seeing a return of visitors.
“I just met a gentleman today in the elevator from Chicago, and he was feeling safe because I was wearing this,” said general manager Roger Amidon referring to his facemask.
Amidon said bookings have been slow to recover since the shutdown.
He said occupancy is expected to be about 45 percent for June and 75 percent for July as bookings increase.