Florida sees record tourism in 2013
Florida tourism hit another milestone and record high in 2013 with 94.7 million visitors traveling to the state, Gov. Rick Scott announced Friday.
That’s a 3.5 percent jump from 2012’s previous high of 91.5 million visitors, according to preliminary estimates from Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing arm.
Direct travel-related jobs were also at a record high last year, with 1.08 million Floridians working in tourism ? an increase of 2.9 percent from the prior year.
“Every 85 visitors to Florida equals one job in our state ? and it is clear that more visitors to the Sunshine State means more jobs for Florida families,” said Scott, in a statement.
The governor made the announcement at Universal Orlando Resort, where nearly 3,500 new jobs will be added this year across the theme park. Under construction is the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter ? Diagon Alley attraction, and a new on-site hotel and expansion to the CityWalk Entertainment complex are also in the works.
“Three years of record-breaking visitation and a record number of tourism-related jobs proves that tourism continues to be a vital force in Florida,” said Tammy Gustafson, chair of Visit Florida’s board of directors. “It also proves that our industry is directly tied to Florida’s economic growth.”
The state’s tourism boom is indicative of South Florida trends as well.
In 2013,?Broward County?welcomed a record 13.1 million visitors who spent $10 billion on accommodation, meals, shopping and entertainment, according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. That’s up from 12.04 million visitors spending $9.8 billion in 2012.
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