Tour Key as a part of your perfect Vacation
Springtime in Key West brings the blooms of tropical flowers, Tarpon season, and this year lots of visitors from Europe here to experience life in Paradise.
As the winter peak tourism season winds down and Springtime sees a slightly slower pace in an already laid-back city, local businesses have seen a rise in the number of European visitors. Tourists from continental Europe as well as the British Isles have arrived this Spring season in record numbers, enjoying everything from Key West tours to fishing and strolling on Duval Street. While statistics show that on average, Europeans tend to choose land based activities while in Key West (with the exception of snorkeling), they seem to be branching out this year. Even tarpon fishing guides, who typically have a majority of clientele from Florida in the warmer months, have charter bookings from Europeans who want to see what it’s like to hook the monstrous Silver King.
The rise in European tourists has been a welcome addition to the Spring season for Key West business owners, fishing guides, local restaurants, and online booking companies such as www.keywestvisitorguide.com Other Key West activities like parasailing and bicycle tours have also seen a slight bump in bookings, partly due to the European visitors. Parasailing is popular with folks who want a thrill but may not be excited about getting into the water. It’s something you can enjoy on the water, even if you don’t want to get into the ocean. Bicycle tours have been popular as many Europeans would rather leave the car behind and explore Old Town on foot or by bicycle. With the recent warmer weather, you can see more on a bicycle and stay cooler as well.
“It’s time to brush up your German” says Marty Greenhills of Key West Snorkeling Co. “I”ve had a lot of German snorkelers on my boat this past week, more than I can remember last year or any other year, for that matter!” Mr. Greenhills’ wife works in the tourism business as well, for a Key West tour company. “Europeans seem to flock to Key West tours where they can learn about the city, its history and local culture” he added. “But this year they also seem to want to go fishing…which is fine with me!”
Nobody seems to know exactly why there’s a slight rise in visitors from across the Atlantic, but nobody is complaining. Spring is a shoulder season in the tourism business in Key West, and then once school is out more families from Florida visit, especially on the weekends, for short trips. Perhaps the Euro’s strength or aggressive marketing in the European marketplace can explain the rise. Some of the visitors fly in and others arrive on cruise ships. Until monthly stats come out from the tourism board, the reasons won’t be known. It’s very likely that cruise ships have higher numbers of European passengers this month, and that would explain the change in demographics of those vacationing in Key West. But whatever the reason, locals are enjoying a great Spring season, in everything from Tarpon fishing charters to Key West snorkeling.