Harry Potter has worked his magic on Florida’s struggling tourism industry as British holidaymakers flock back in their thousands.
Visitor numbers to the US state – the UK’s sixth favourite holiday destination – dropped by four million last year thanks to the credit crunch and the value of the pound collapsing against the dollar.
But Florida’s new Harry Potter theme park, due to open this spring, is already helping to drive up summer bookings. Trevor Davis, of tour giant Co-operative Travel, says family bookings are up seven per cent compared with last year.
He said: “We’re seeing package bookings to Florida significantly outperform the overall travel market.
“The better exchange rate is also helping families looking for greater value with the relative weakness of the dollar giving UK holidaymakers up to 15 per cent more spending power.”
The £125million Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a 20-acre theme park in Orlando, complete with full-size Hogwarts Caste, is being opened by Universal and Warner Bros.