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Data: Visit Florida; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic ended a decade of record-setting tourism numbers in Florida, according to new numbers from the state's tourism marketing agency.

The state of play: The bad news comes the same week organizers decided to cancel Tampa's Gasparilla Parade of Pirates and Children's Gasparilla parade this year due to virus concerns.

  • "Knowing how Gasparilla is, it’s hard to imagine social distancing going on as Gasparilla brings hundreds of thousands of people to Bayshore," Peter Lackman, captain of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, told the Tampa Bay Times.
  • The events are rescheduled for Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, 2022.

Driving the news: Visit Florida posted preliminary figures early this week showing 86.7 million visitors came to the Sunshine State in 2020. That was the lowest annual total since 2010.

  • The state attracted a record 131.4 million tourists in 2019, the culmination of year-to-year growth since 2009 when Florida had 80.9 million visitors.

The big picture: The hospitality and leisure industries have suffered the most since the pandemic, per the News Service of Florida.

  • Before the pandemic, the state estimated 1.6 million jobs were supported by tourism. Last week, the U.S. Travel Association reported four in 10 jobs lost nationally over the past year were in the leisure and hospitality industries.

One last blow ... Cruises likely won't return to Port Tampa Bay until fall, maybe even until 2022, the Times reports.

This story first appeared in the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Mounting emissions data paints bleak picture on Paris climate goals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers keep finding new ways to reveal that nations are together showing very few signs of getting on track to meet the Paris Agreement's goals.

One big question: That's whether a spate of recent analyses to that effect, and scientific reports coming later this year, will move the needle on meaningful new policies (not just targets).