International passengers through Miami International Airport grow
The number of international passengers traveling through Miami International Airport this year is slightly ahead of the same period in 2016, most recent data from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department show.
Those international passengers are coveted in most areas of business, from real estate to retail sales, and in restaurants and hotels. Those who stay in Miami tend to stay longer and spend more per day.
The gain in total international passengers is minor, less than a full percentage point for the first 10 months of the year, as just under 17.8 million international passengers have gone through the airport versus 17.6 million in the same 10 months of 2016, but it is a gain. Domestic passengers in the same period decreased just under 4%, to total just over 18.4 million persons.
In both international and domestic travel, more air passengers in October arrived in Miami than departed, as 874,318 international passengers stepped out of planes here and 922,537 domestic passengers landed here.
A Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau study of last year’s spending shows the added value to the community of international passengers. The international overnight visitor spends $132 daily on meals on average versus $120 for a domestic passenger; spends far more in shopping, $258 versus $90 for domestic overnight visitors; is 7% more likely to rent a car than a domestic passenger; and stays an average of 6.9 days versus 5.2 days here for a domestic overnight visitor.
That all adds up to a large spending gap. The domestic overnight visitor’s average bill here for everything is $1,207.66 for the stay, while the international visitor spends $2,062.35, the bureau’s study found.
And, as the bureau’s study made clear, international overnight visitors were just behind domestic totals for all of 2016, 7.6 million international to 8.1 million domestic visitors, but the international portion was increasing faster 1.6% more than 2015 international to 1.4% increase in domestic overnight visitors.
In all, 7,952 international flights landed at Miami International Airport in October and 7,328 departed from Miami International. The year so far has seen 157,338 total international commercial flights here, down 2.45% from last year’s 161,295.