Miracle in Florida Tourism Numbers Keep Growing
TALLAHASSEE (NSF) – June 5, 2018
Florida is going to beat it’s last year’s tourism record. Newly released numbers indicate sun-seekers continued to flock to the state during the first three months of 2018.
Gov. Rick Scott and the tourism-marketing agency Visit Florida say about 33.2 million visitors from January through March, which was a 7.4 percent increase over the same period in 2017.
The increase this year was buoyed by 29.1 million domestic visitors, 8.5 percent more than during the first quarter of 2017. The number of Canadian visitors was up2.5 percent during the quarter, though overseas visitors were down 0.7 percent, according to comparisons posted on the Visit Florida website.
Last year, Florida drew 30.9 million visitors in the first quarter, with the next-highest total of 29.36 million in the second quarter, Visit Florida numbers show. The third quarter, which included steamy parts of the summer and Hurricane Irma, was the lowest at 27.7 million.
The 2017 numbers also showed that an estimated 9.6 percent of domestic out-of-state visitors came from Georgia, while 8.5 percent came from New York, 5.5 percentfrom Texas, 5.3 percentfrom Ohio and 5.3 percent for Pennsylvanians. Domestic travel was largely concentrated from states in the eastern half of the country.
Canada was the top source of international visitors in 2017, followed by the United Kingdom, Brazil, Argentina and Columbia, according to the Visit Florida website. Canada, however, was the only one of those countries that provided an increase in Florida visitors in 2017.
Ken Lawson, CEO of Visit Florida, said in a recent interview thattourism is the number one economic driver in Florida and funds 1.4 million jobs in the state.