TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (September 14, 2021): The results are in and Travel+Leisure’s latest annual awards see Florida with big wins. The World’s Best Awards features seven Florida destinations making waves in two major categories, beating out other destinations across the continental U.S.

VISIT FLORIDA’s President & CEO Dana Young is excited to share this news with the rest of the state. “It’s an honor to have so many destinations in Florida featured in the Travel+Leisure’s World’s Best categories because they are chosen by readers and travelers directly. It’s a testament to how hard our destination Partners work to build and maintain such a welcoming experience for anyone who visits Florida,” she said.

Among the top 15 islands in the continental U.S., Florida won big with five mentions. The magazine writes, “From coast to coast, the best islands in the Continental U.S. attract all types of travelers, but readers seem to have a soft spot for the eastern seaboard — especially when it comes to Florida, which lays claim to five of the top islands.”

Amelia Island ranked the highest, 3rd among the best islands in the U.S. Also on the list, Longboat Key (5th), Florida Keys (10th), Captiva Island (11th), and Sanibel Island (13th) helped showcase Florida’s islands, allowing the state to dominate the category.

In the category of the top 15 resort hotels in the continental U.S., two properties in Florida also made the list. The Setai, in Miami Beach, entered 8th while Sunset Key Cottages, in Key West, came in 11th, proving that Florida is a top destination for visitors in the U.S. Meanwhile, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort ranked 11 among the best domestic spas.

Even Florida’s airports nabbed accolades. Both Tampa International and Palm Beach International Airports ranked among the top ten domestic airports this year.

The World’s Best Awards is a travel awards program launched by Travel+Leisure inviting readers to vote on the best destinations and experiences worldwide. The prestigious annual awards honor the top travel destinations, hotels, companies, and, for the first time, national parks. Normally released in August, Travel + Leisure moved the World’s Best issue to October to allow for more time given the restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

Winners appear in the October 2021 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine and are currently available online at TravelAndLeisure.com.



As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 79.8 million visitors in 2020, a decrease from the record 131.4 million visitors in 2019, attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $96.5 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.6 million Florida jobs in 2019. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $3.27 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA follow @FloridaTourism on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.visitflorida.org. For inspiration from the Sunshine State, follow @VISITFLORIDA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.visitflorida.com. For media resources, visit www.visitfloridamedia.com.


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Chiara Peretti, Publicist