Lockdown-free Florida top vacation spot for holidays

MIAMI BEACH (AP) — As the tourism industry bounces back from COVID-19, Miami is one of the top search destinations on several travel websites. Florida tourism has been buoyed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ pro-business, anti-mask restrictions. That has allowed one of the state’s main economic engines to flourish, even as tourism dipped in other parts of the country. Now as snowbirds have returned and others are making holidays travel plans, hotels and tourism experts are reporting a noticeable boom. Flight and hotel occupancy levels haven’t reached the pre-COVID levels of 2019, but they’re not far off. Plans and logistics could be upset, however, by the emergence of the new COVID-19 omicron variant.