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Florida Tourism at All Time High

May 15th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
Stop in any rest area in Florida and you’ll likely see cars with out of state plates.
Georgia residents Jason Ingram and his mother Shaon Holland were on their way to Mexico Beach in the Panhandle.
“Mexico Beach is real quiet, laid back, a great place to fish,” said Ingram.
“We’ve always traveled in Florida a lot because we’re so close by. We used to go to the East coast a lot, but the Gulf is our first choice,” said Holland.
This year Florida has seen more visitors to the state than ever before.
“We have a little pent up demand so people are ready to travel this year and from every indication AAA is predicting a strong travel season this year,” said AAA spokesperson W.D. Williams.
31.1 million people visited the state in the first three months, that’s a 2.5 percent increase over last year.
And Governor Rick Scott has said those numbers mean Florida should continue investing more in tourism marketing.
In Tweets posted Monday, he attributed the growth of tourism to the funding of VISIT FLORIDA.
Scott has criticized the Legislature for cutting VISIT FLORIDA funding by two thirds.
He said it puts the industry at risk.
Still, AAA expects growth to continue with or with out the additional marketing.
“With all the attractions in the state and the natural resources that we have here. I believe people are going to continue coming to Florida and visiting Florida. Once they come once they’re going to come back,” said Williams.
Not all the news is good.
Overseas tourism dropped for the third straight quarter.
Canadians traveling to the state also fell.
Visitors from our northern neighbor has dropped nine straight quarters.
Visit Florida says the lack of funding will make it harder for the state to compete with other tourist destinations and could possibly lead to the state losing billions of dollars in revenue.
Rick Scott is still debating whether to veto the entire budget approved by lawmakers, or just parts of it.

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