Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday announced a record setting tourism number of tourists visited Florida in the second quarter of 2014. VISIT Florida’s preliminary estimate of 24 million visitors represents a 3 percent increase compared to 2013. And, tourists are spending more while in visiting, compared to last year, tourism spending is up 7.4 percent at $35.7 billion, which helped create 43,600 jobs.
“A thriving tourism industry is vital to growing jobs, and today’s report that Florida has experienced another record quarter for visitation is great news for Florida families,” said Scott. “This year we invested $74 million into VISIT FLORIDA, and set a goal to have 100 million visitors visit the Sunshine State, which we are well on our way to reaching.”
About 94.7 million visitors came to Florida in 2013, which represented a 3.5 percent increase over the previous year. So far this year, Florida has attracted 50.3 million visitors. VISIT FLORIDA expanded its advertising footprint with the money the state has contributed to the public private partnership which markets Florida. It launched campaigns in the western United States and increased advertising in international markets, according to officials.
VISIT FLORIDA estimates that 2.8 million overseas visitors and 1 million Canadians came to Florida in the second quarter, both record highs. Total visitor numbers also show a 2.6 percent increase in domestic visitors.
“Florida tourism is maintaining strong momentum with all indicators up across the board for the quarter,” said Will Seccombe, VISIT FLORIDA CEO.
The average number of direct travel-related jobs set a record in the second quarter. Economists estimate 1.1 million Floridians are employed in the tourism industry, an increase of 3.9 percent from 2013.
Tourism and recreation taxable sales are up 7.4 percent for year through May. Other indicators show a 4.8 increase in hotel occupancy rate and demand in rooms sold up 5.5 percent compared to last year.