TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (August 14, 2013) – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that according to preliminary estimates* released today by VISIT FLORIDA - the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – 23.4 million visitors came to Florida in the second quarter of 2013 (April-June), an increase of 2.6 percent over the same period in 2012. This makes Q2 2013 the largest second quarter for visitation in the state’s history.
Governor Scott said, “Today’s news from VISIT FLORIDA demonstrates ‘It’s Working.’ Florida’s tourism industry is critical to Florida families as it serves as a vital source of revenue to the state and a key driver of employment. Florida just experienced its largest second quarter visitation ever, combined with a record first quarter, the Sunshine State is now on pace to generate an unprecedented number of jobs and economic opportunities for Florida’s families.”
Through the first half of 2013, Florida welcomed 49.6 million visitors – an increase of 4.2 percent. Visitor spending in Florida for January-May 2013 (last reported month) was $33.2 billion, representing a year-over-year increase of 5.5 percent from the same period in 2012. Direct travel-related employment in Florida for January-June rose 2.8 percent, adding 30,200 jobs since this same time one year ago. Each of these figures marks a record, making the first half of 2013 the largest six-month period in the history of Florida’s tourism industry.
“We’re up nearly two million visitors who increased their spending by more than $1.7 billion,” said Tammy Gustafson, Chair of the VISIT FLORIDA Board of Directors. “This continued momentum is a testament to the strength of VISIT FLORIDA’s marketing efforts, the power of the Sunshine State brand and the dedication of the nearly 1.1 million Floridians who work in the state’s tourism industry.”
An estimated 19.7 million domestic visitors came to Florida during the second quarter of 2013, representing a 1.6 percent increase from the same period in 2012. Florida welcomed 2.7 million overseas visitors in Q2 2013 representing a 9.3 percent increase over Q2 2012, and 1 million Canadian visitors during the same period representing a 4.9 percent increase from the previous year.
“Following up two consecutive record years with back to back record quarters so far in 2013 proves we are well-positioned to make Florida the No. 1 travel destination in the world,” said Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.
Additional Preliminary Data:
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.
For additional information, contact Kathy Torian at ktorian@VISITFLORIDA.org
or (850) 205-3865.
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 91.4 million visitors in 2012 who spent $71.8 billion, generating 23 percent of the state’s sales tax revenue and employing nearly 1.1 million Floridians. For every $1 spent on tourism marketing, VISIT FLORIDA – the state’s official tourism marketing corporation – generates more than $258 in tourism spending and $15 in new sales tax collections, paid by visitors, not residents. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves nearly 12,000 tourism industry businesses, including 2,700 invested Partners, 8,900 web affiliates and major strategic alliance partnerships with Disney Destinations, Dollar Rent A Car, The Hertz Corporation, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and Universal Orlando. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to www.VISITFLORIDA.org or follow our corporate blog at www.SunshineMatters.org.