A record number of tourists flocked to Florida in 2012 as the economic rebound took hold, the state’s tourism agency reported Monday via the News Service of Florida.
Preliminary reports by Visit Florida showed a record 89.3 million tourists visited the state in 2012, a 2.3 percent increase over 2011, which was also a record year. Gov. Rick Scott said the state’s tourism sector impact on the overall economy was huge, with more than 1 million Floridians employed in tourism-related fields. Overseas travel was especially strong, with the number of foreign travelers surpassing 10 million for the first time, a 9 percent increase over 2011.
Canadian visitors represented more than a third of that total, with 3.6 million Canadian tourists making the trek in 2012, a 7.3 percent increase over the year before. “Welcoming two million more visitors in 2012 marks the second consecutive record year for tourism in the Sunshine State,” Scott said in a statement. “With the hospitality sector ending the year up 30,300 jobs, it’s clear that more visitors means more jobs for Florida families.”