Tampa – There was a saying that one can tell the financial condition of a city, by the number of unfixed potholes in its streets. Well, Tampa has or is fixing its potholes. The financial status of Tampa is impressive, despite a 28% decline in property tax revenues since 2007, core services have been unaffected. There are no plans for citywide layoffs and the only complaints that reached the administration was the money shortage to fix some public pools that resulted in their closure. Overall the city is operating in an enviable dimension.
The hospitality industry in Tampa and Hillsborough County, indicates an improving economy based on an increase in hotel reservations, air travel, rail ridership, luggage sales and other factors.
With a healthy and calm environment comes the opportunities of outside investments, like the new flight routes from Tampa International Airport to Havana, Cuba, scheduled to begin in September. In an article by Steve Huettel, St. Petersburg Times, roundtrip fares should be $399 – $459 on 145 seat jets. ABC Charters are currently selling ticket flights to Cuba and will be joined by Xael Charters who received authorization from the Cuban government last Thursday to also fly the Tampa-Havana route.
Flights will be available to book through the Internet or any travel agent. Only a federally licensed travel service provider can sell tickets and only ABC Charters and Xael Charters can arrange public charter flights as well as sell tickets.
In addition, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has a pending deal with Panama of Central America to open flights from Tampa, FL to Panama City, Panama via Copa Airlines.