Visitors stroll by shops and restaurants at Disney Springs in Lake Buena Vista in 2016. Despite hurricanes, Zika and the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the state saw a record number of tourists during 2016.(File/AP)

Florida Sees Sixth Straight Year Of Tourism Growth


MELBOURNE — Florida had another record-setting year for tourism despite natural disasters, a virus outbreak and a tragic attack on an Orlando nightclub.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday at the Brevard Zoo that nearly 113 million tourists visited the state last year. This is the sixth year in a row that the numbers have climbed. Nearly 107 million tourists visited in 2015.

Scott will hail the continued growth during a time when the agency that promotes tourism is coming under fire. House Republicans are backing a proposal to shut down Visit Florida amid questionable contracts, such as one that paid rap star Pitbull $1 million to promote the state.

The governor in a statement noted that Florida still attracted record numbers despite the Zika virus outbreak, two hurricanes and the attack at the Pulse Nightclub that left 49 dead.

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