THEY COME IN FLOCKS
Positive and negative aspects of tourism.
December 17, 2018
Going to the beach is a common pastime for most teenagers growing up in Florida, and as winter break approaches, many kids are excited to relax with friends and enjoy the water while the sun continues to shine, but it might not always be as easy.
Much of Florida’s economy during the winter months is derived from the income brought in through tourism, and many of these tourists happen to be fairly wealthy. Unfortunately for locals, these tourists tend to take up all of the parking spaces at the beach, supermarket and malls. As if the holiday season was not busy enough, Floridians must deal with the dreaded visitation of all the nation’s snowbirds.
As beneficial as tourism is to the economy, there are prices to be paid for being one of the nation’s top tourist destinations. Florida has many attractions. With the most popular being its beautiful beaches lined with luxurious mansions. It is common to find the majority of these homes vacant for the better part of a year, and it makes one wonder why people build massives homes, only to rarely live in the house itself. Many of the homes along the coastlines in areas like Palm Beach seem to never have their owners present.
Even the elderly snowbirds that visit who do not own extensive property in South Florida have their annoyances, though the income that they provide outweighs the frustrating aspects that go along with tourism. According to State of Florida, the economy experienced an impact of 67 billion from the tourism industry alone.
It becomes nearly impossible to find good parking spaces at all the popular beaches. Locals are often forced to spend way more time than what should be necessary to find parking, and if there are any spaces left, they are often located farthest from the destination.
Aside from the struggles of parking, there are also increases in prices. Many shops along the beaches or in other popular attractions raise their prices in attempt to make more profit off of visitors willing to pay for souvenirs and items unique to Florida’s personality. For Floridians, this can become aggravating, since prices are often made universal and there are no local reductions.
Shopping conditions worsen, since the families who stay down south to enjoy the holidays often do a lot of their Christmas shopping here as well. When it comes time to buy gifts for friends and families, shopping centers become chaotic nightmares. Similar to the terrifying ordeal of finding parking, the stores become their own trap in which shoppers fight for space and bargains.
The presence of snowbirds is not entirely bad, however, seeing as they are a crucial source of income for Florida’s economy. Even though room for more residents is disappearing fast, and space for both tourists and locals residing in South Florida is diminishing, the tourist time of year is still important and a part of Florida’s charm.