Air­port, sea­port, tourism heads tout mile­stones

Growth at all three spurs econ­omy

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - MONEY - By Ar­lene Satchell Staff writer

Broward County’s in­ter­na­tional air­port, sea­por­tand­tourism sec­tor are among the lead­ing driv­ers of the lo­cal econ­omy, and all en­joyed some level of growth in the past year, top in­dus­try of­fi­cials said Fri­day.

This year, the three sec­tors see pos­i­tive trends in spite of mar­ket­place and geopo­lit­i­cal chal­lenges, lead­ers said dur­ing the Port Ever­glades As­so­ci­a­tion’s 9th Eco­nomic En­gine Per­for­mance Re­port at the Greater Fort Laud­erdale/ Broward County Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

The an­nual event draws hun­dreds of mem­bers of the lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity for up­dates on the sec­tors’ past per­for­mance and a fore­cast for the cur­rent year. In a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion mod­er­ated by Steve Bous­quet, Tal­la­has­see Bureau Chief for the Tampa Bay Times; Mark Gale, the county’s avi­a­tion di­rec­tor; Steven Cer­nak, Port Ever­glades’ chief ex­ec­u­tive and port di­rec­tor; and tourism chief Stacy Rit­ter gave their takes on their agen­cies’ prospects.

Some high­lights: over­seas pas­sen­gers from­s­e­lected coun­tries and re­stric­tions against elec­tronic de­vices.

When asked how the air­port was pro­gress­ing fol­low­ing the shoot­ing tragedy in Jan­uary that killed five trav­el­ers and in­jured sev­eral oth­ers, Gale said: “We can’t let the events of one day, as tragic as they were, de­fine or change the course of where we need to be as an air­port.”

He said the air­port hopes to com­plete an af­ter-ac­tion re­port around July and seek to ad­dress its find­ings and rec­om­men­da­tions.

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