Florida has experienced a record-breaking year for tourism, hopefully an indication we are on the road to recovery.
Recently, Governor Rick Scott announced that 89.4 million visitors, including 14.8 million international travelers, came to Florida in 2012, breaking the record high of 87.3 million visitors in 2011.
With 2 million more visitors in 2012, it marks the second consecutive record year for tourism in our state. It resulted in the hospitality industry creating 30,300 jobs, proving more visitors means more jobs for Florida. Besides leading to more taxable sales across Florida and being the leading job-creating industry in the state supplying more than 1,030,000 million jobs to Floridians, tourism remains one of the main pillars of our economy.
"Tourism is a vital component to Florida's dynamic economy, and will remain essential to future growth and ensuring Florida remains competitive in a changing marketplace," said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
Incidentally, robust tourism revenue insures the Legislature will not have to worry about budget shortfalls as it has in the previous five or six years.