AAA predicts solid travel year for 2014

CREATED Jan. 11, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan. 12, 2014

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - More than 600 attended AAA's Vacation Expo in Fort Myers Saturday.

Now that the economy is picking back up, the travel forecast for 2014 is a good one. AAA predicts families will take three or four vacations this year.

"My dream vacation is to go to Ireland to see the castles, to play golf, go to the pubs, " Joe Plum, who visited the expo, said.

While places like Ireland are popular vacation spots, you don't have to travel that far to have a good time.


"Florida is a big hot spot for travelers, we have the theme parks, the water parks, the beaches, you name it, we pretty much have it along with the sunshine," AAA Spokesperson Jessica Brady said.

Governor Rick Scott wants to make 2014 the best year yet for Florida's tourism industry.  Next week he will ask the State to increase the budget for the 'Visit Florida' campaign from $63 million to $100 million.

AAA says it supports anything that gets more people traveling.
 

"The more people who come into the state the better off the economy is, the better off local attractions are to keep going, keep up and running and it supports our local tourists attractions," Brady said.

Of course when you think local attractions, you think Disney. Lily Mendoza manned the Disney table at the expo and says Southwest Florida is a great market for the company.

"We get a lot of business form this area because it's multi generational. Sixty percent of our clients are multi generations coming together so we get a lot of the grandparents and the adult kids and the young kids as well," Mendoza said.

Southwest Florida is also a great vacation spot itself, with its beautiful beaches and proximity to many cruise ports.

"W don't have to worry about getting on a plane, losing luggage," Donald Dupont said. "This is an ideal location, very user friendly."

Governor Scott says Florida is on track for another record year, but thinks more dollars going into 'Visit Florida' will help build momentum

Lawmakers will consider his proposal this spring.