Longboat Key, Florida | August 13th, 2019 – The gain in passenger traffic at the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) hit a recent monthly peak, and new record-high arrivals at the terminal loom in the near future. This development notably speaks well for the two counties’ tourist market and its forward linkage to real estate marketing, especially rental properties.
Further growth in passenger traffic could be expected in the Sarasota‒Bradenton airport, as Frontier Airlines announced in July that starting in November, it will add a new flight covering SRQ and Trenton, New Jersey. The airline, which began SRQ service in 2018, is likewise increasing its SRQ flights to Philadelphia International Airport and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport from twice weekly to three times per week in the winter season.
Frontier earlier announced in June it would start on October 10 flights from SRQ to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Frontier’s new service comes as the 30th destination for flights from SRQ. It is also the airport’s 24th new route and the 19th new destination from SRQ in the past year and a half.
During the same period, budget-fare carrier Allegiant Air also opened its SRQ flights, adding 12 new routes to the Sarasota‒Bradenton airport. All these additions translated to SRQ setting an all-time high in monthly passenger arrivals to 147,615 in June, a 48.7 percent jump from a year earlier. For the first half of the year, Sarasota‒Bradenton airline passenger traffic totaled 988,105 passengers, up 39.6 percent compared with the first six months of 2018.
June came as the 16th consecutive month that SRQ posted an increase in passenger arrivals, expanding its carriers to eight airlines. This sustained growth has elevated the Sarasota‒Bradenton terminal as the second fastest growing airport in the country today.
Potent Northeast Opens Wider
The Trenton route unlocks a vast potential from the Northeast, a huge market for the Sarasota‒Bradenton area. Trenton sits amid a very large population base, as it is about 50 miles south of the Newark/New York City metropolis. Additionally, Trenton is 28 miles north of Philadelphia and is some 30 miles up Interstate 195 to the Jersey coastal area. Eastern Pennsylvania is likewise along its western border.
The Northeast, even prior to Frontier’s Trenton service, has already emerged as the largest tourism market for Sarasota last year. In its 2018 economic impact of tourism report, the travel promoter Visit Sarasota County said that 363,950 Sarasota visitors came from the Northeast during the year. These Northeast visitors accounted for almost 30 percent of the county’s tourists last year. The other top contributors to the Sarasota travel market include: Florida (17.2 percent); the Southeast excluding Florida (12 percent), the Midwest (21.6 percent), and Canada (7.5 percent).
Bradenton, on the other hand, drew 150,150 tourists from the Northeast last year, up 2.3 percent from 2017. The Northeast was the third largest among Bradenton area’s feeder markets. Florida-based tourists led Bradenton visitors in 2018, with 197,050 visitors, while those from the Midwest came in second at 152,100 visitors. Travelers from New York accounted for 5.9 percent of Bradenton a tourist arrivals in 2018, while Philadelphia tourists accounted for a 2.9 percent slice.
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