Tourism industry eager to welcome back visitors for Memorial Day weekend

Hotels report spike in recent bookings
Posted at 12:11 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 12:11:15-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Tourism is heating up for the hospitality industry as coronavirus cases continue to fall. Recent changes to CDC mask guidelines are also driving travel trends to new heights.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Rebound South Florida

Memorial Day weekend is on the horizon and hotels across South Florida are ready to greet new guests.

AAA Travel expects a significant rebound in the number of Americans planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend.

From May 27 through May 31, more than 37 million people are expected to pack their bags and head out of town for a getaway.

"They feel like they haven't been out for a while," said Christophe Dagassan, director of leisure sales and global partnerships at The Breakers Palm Beach. "They're not traveling to Europe. They're not traveling to the Caribbean. A staycation is probably what you want to do this summer."

Christophe Dagassan, director of leisure sales and global partnerships at The Breakers Palm Beach
Christophe Dagassan speaks on the surge in travel for Memorial Day.

The Breakers Palm Beach is celebrating its 125th anniversary year, successfully enduring as the only large, historic luxury hotel in America to remain in the hands of its original owners.

"Bring your children and let them understand the history about Henry Morrison Flagler who had this vision to build this magnificent resort destination," Dagassan said. "As a result, tourism just started growing, not just in the Palm Beaches, but it just carried all the way down to Miami and Key West."

The Ben West Palm Hotel is also reporting a recent spike in bookings.

The 208-room boutique hotel opened last year shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak spread to South Florida.

They are encouraging nearby residents to enjoy the expansive panoramic views overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in downtown West Palm Beach.

"We have a Florida resident rate that includes a 20% discount and free parking," said Bernardo Neto, general manager of The Ben West Palm. "We're really keeping all of our local residents in mind."

Meanwhile, AAA is also encouraging travelers who decide to travel away from home to keep in mind that some local and state travel restrictions may still remain in place.