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Tuesday, September 13, 2007

Florida Hotels to Benefit from Weak Dollar

In European trading on Wednesday the dollar fell to an all-time low in the midst of speculation that the Federal Reserve will soon cut interest rates and after a warning from the U.S. treasury secretary that instability in financial markets may remain.

Topping its previous record of $1.3852, reached on July 24, the Euro rose to $1.3901 in late afternoon European trading but almost immediately fell back to $1.3889, compared with the $1.3832 it bought in New York late Tuesday.

The sudden rise came after Henry Paulson, Treasury Secretary, spoke to the officials of some of the biggest financial firms in the United States. He said that instability in financial markets, mainly in the area of subprime mortgages, will take some time to be resolved.

Miami Hotels Cheer

Not only will the stronger Euro increase the amount of European tourists to the states this year but the Canadian Loonie will as well. The Loonie reached a 30-year high against the dollar on Tuesday, developing a trend that has given Canadian travelers more spending capability here.

While the weaker dollar makes U.S. exports more competitive, it reduces the spending power of American tourists making vacations to Europe a luxury. But this new development has also made traveling to the United States a relative bargain which is great news for South Florida's travel and tourism industry.

With Miami hotels being a favorite for foreign vacationers, South Beach hotels such as The Bentley Beach are gearing up for a productive season this year much in thanks to the weak U.S. dollar and the favorable exchange rate.

The General Manager for the Bentley Beach and its nearby sister hotel, The Bentley Bay said that the summer's international bookings have doubled.

In Fort Lauderdale the sales director for The Atlantic Hotel says that he will be launching a sales push into Canada for next year due to the amount of guests over the summer and the prediction for the upcoming season.

The Marriott Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale also reported that there was a much stronger response from Canadians this year, which were also willing to pay slightly higher rates.

Both Broward and Miami-Dade expect to grow foreign tourism this year, with Miami-Dade finally erasing losses posted after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Not All Is Bright to Some

Even with these new currency issues helping to boost the Miami hotel industry some executives say other factors are keeping international travelers away from South Florida. With immigration crackdowns and the controversy over the war in Iraq some foreign tourists are fuming. The travel industry sees international tourism as a constant weak spot here and across the country.




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