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Florida tourism growing

Posted at 3:15 PM, May 15, 2013
and last updated 2014-07-14 12:14:47-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) -- It's expected to be another record-setting summer for Florida tourism.

The state's official tourism agency, VISIT FLORIDA, announced Wednesday that preliminary estimates show 26 million visitors came to Florida in the first quarter of 2013 (January - March).

"More people visited Florida this past quarter than ever before," Governor Scott said. "Record visitation to the Sunshine State means more jobs and opportunities for Florida's families, which is great news."

The first quarter also marked a record for the number of Floridians employed in the tourism and travel sector; that being 1,087,700.

"Every 85 visitors we welcome support one Florida job," said Glenn Hastings, Chairman of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors and Executive Director of the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council. "Florida's hospitality industry added nearly 36,000 new career-building jobs this quarter alone, marking the 36th straight month of job growth for the tourism sector."

According to a release to WTXL, as additional data continues to come in, VISIT FLORIDA has revised its preliminary 2012 visitation number to 91.4 million.  This figure includes 77.6 million domestic visitors, 10.2 million overseas travelers and 3.6 million Canadians.

"Coming off of a record year that has proven to be even stronger than we initially estimated only adds to the momentum VISIT FLORIDA has been building on to make Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world," said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.   

To view additional Florida visitor data, go the Research page on VISIT FLORIDA's media website.