Florida Breaks Tourism Record For 5th Year


In welcoming 105 million visitors in 2015, the Sunshine State made tourism records for the fifth consecutive year.

Compared to 2014’s 98.5 million tourists, tourism is up by 6.6 percent, according to a press release from Gov. Rick Scott’s office.

Meanwhile, the average number of Florida jobs related directly to travel saw a 4.7 percent increase, with more than 1 million Floridians employed in the tourism industry.

“Tourism plays an important role in supporting our economy, and we will continue to make strategic investments in the tourism industry to keep Florida on track for becoming first for jobs,” Scott said in the release.

An estimated 89.8 million of the visitors came from within the U.S., according to Visit Florida, which collects data on Florida’s tourism industry. Another 4 million came from Canada, and the remaining 11.2 million came from other countries. Together, 18 Florida airports saw an increase of 6.1 million airline passengers compared to 2014, according to the release.

In the fourth quarter of 2015 alone, early estimates show a record 25.2 million people visited Florida — the largest fourth-quarter visitation number the state has ever seen.

Scott said that he hopes to attract 115 million tourists in 2016.

“Thanks to the visionary support of Governor Scott and the Florida legislature, together we have built a solid foundation that will enable us to reach our goal generating $100 billion in visitor spending by 2020,” John Tomlin, chair of Visit Florida’s Board of Directors, said in the release.

About Megan Kearney

Megan is a reporter who can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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