News Column

Florida Tourism Sets Record in 2012

Feb 18, 2013

Jeff Harrington, Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg Fla.

Florida's tourism triumph is official.

Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing corporation, said a record 89.3 million visitors came to the state in 2012, up 2.3 percent from the prior year. The number of jobs directly related to travel also hit a record 1.03 million.

"Welcoming two million more visitors in 2012 marks the second consecutive record year for tourism in the Sunshine State," Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement as he released the figures Monday morning. "With the hospitality sector ending the year up 30,300 jobs, it's clear that more visitors means more jobs for Florida families."

Leisure and tourism was the fastest growing industry in Florida in 2012 based on job creation figures released last month.

Two other records notched last year: Florida drew 10.2 million overseas visitors, a 9 percent jump from a year ago, and 3.6 million Canadian visitors, up 7.3 percent.

Source: (c)2013 Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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