Tourists Spent Record Amount in Florida Last Year

Gov. Rick Scott said on Thursday that visitors spent a record $71.1 billion in 2012.

Friday, Mar 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:24 AM EDT
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Tourists visiting the Sunshine State spent more money last year than ever before.

Gov. Rick Scott said on Thursday that visitors spent a record $71.1 billion in 2012. That's a nearly 7 percent increase over 2011 which was also a record year.

The preliminary spending figures were compiled by Visit Florida, the state's quasi-public marketing arm.

Visits Florida has already estimated that nearly 90 million people visited the state in 2012. That included 10.2 million overseas visitors and 3.6 million Canadians.

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Tourism is one of Florida's most important economic drivers with more than 1 million people employed in a variety of industry-related jobs.

Scott is asking state legislators to set aside $75 million in this year's budget for Visit Florida to pay for its marketing and advertising efforts.

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