DEO Press Releases

Gov. Scott: Florida Sets Another Tourism Record

Nov 26, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida set another tourism record, welcoming 95.8 million visitors from January through September, according to VISIT FLORIDA. This is the highest number of visitors in any nine months in Florida’s history and represents a 6.7 percent increase over the 89.8 million visitors during the same period in 2017. This includes 85 million domestic visitors, 8 million overseas visitors and 2.8 million Canadian visitors.

Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Florida’s tourism industry is continuing to set records to help our state’s economic growth. Since December 2010, Florida has welcomed a record number of travelers for 27 quarters and had seven consecutive years of record visitation and visitor spending. Today’s announcement shows that 2018 is shaping up to be the most robust year for travel to Florida ever. I will never stop working to make Florida the number one global destination for visitors and job creation.”

VISIT FLORIDA estimates that a record 30.7 million visitors traveled to Florida in the third quarter of 2018 (July-September), an increase of 10.1 percent over the same period last year. This third quarter number represents 27.5 million domestic visitors, 2.7 million overseas visitors and 490,000 Canadian visitors to the Sunshine State. Total enplanements at Florida’s 18 major airports in the third quarter increased 10.2 percent over the same period last year, with 21.9 million passengers. The number of visitors through Florida’s five Official Welcome Centers and Florida’s average daily room rate (ADR) also grew, increasing by 2.3 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively.

Ken Lawson, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA, said, “When I became VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO last year, I hit the ground running to ensure we were absolutely transparent, accountable and efficient in everything we did to promote our great state. I want to thank Governor Rick Scott for his leadership these past eight years. I greatly appreciate the opportunity I have been given to lead this vital organization. Today’s announcement is a testament to the hard work and determination of Governor Scott, the Florida Legislature, the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors, VISIT FLORIDA staff and our entire industry. Because of their commitment to tourism, Florida’s economy is booming. As we look to the future, I will continue to ensure that every dollar spent by VISIT FLORIDA has a high return on investment for our state, generating millions in revenue, creating jobs and bolstering our economy.”

As the Sunshine State’s number one industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 118.8 million visitors in 2017. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors spent $112 billion and supported more than 1.4 million Florida jobs. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated.

VISIT FLORIDA unites the state’s tourism industry to inspire travel to and within the Sunshine State. Through successful marketing campaigns, the Florida tourism industry reaches targeted audiences in domestic and international markets such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany and China. VISIT FLORIDA’s innovative marketing tactics strengthen the state’s share of the global travel market and maximize the economic impact of travel and tourism to Florida.

To view additional Florida visitor data, go the research page on VISIT FLORIDA’s media website.

*Preliminary estimates are issued 45 days after the end of each calendar quarter. Final estimates are released when final data are received for all estimates in the report.

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