Published on Thursday, March 22, 2018

Another record year for tourism in Florida

Florida set another tourism record in 2017 despite the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma.

Visit Florida announced 116.5 million for the year, although it did fall short of Gov. Rick Scott's initial target of 120 million visitors.

It represented a 3.6% rise on the previous year.

"Because of Visit Florida's aggressive marketing efforts to make sure families across the world knew that Florida was open to visitors following Hurricane Irma, we are able to celebrate another record-breaking year for tourism," Scott said.

The numbers were made up of 102.3 million domestic visitors, 3.5 million Canadians and 10.7 million other overseas visitors.

According to Visit Florida, more than 87 million arrived by air at the state's 18 major airports.

The state marketing agency recently estimated Hurricane cost the tourism industry about 1.8 million visitors and a $1.5 billion loss in visitor spending.

"Because of the cutting-edge marketing programs at Visit Florida, particularly following Hurricane Irma, we were able to increase total visitation by 3.6 percent over last year, resulting in billions of dollars in revenue for the state," said Visit Florida CEO Ken Lawson.


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