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Politics

Florida Saw Record High Number of Tourists in First Half of 2018

September 12, 2018 - 11:15am
Epcot
Epcot

Florida continues to see record tourism with a strong first half of 2018, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Wednesday morning. 

Scott announced that 65.5 million visitors came to the Sunshine State in the first six months of the year, up almost 6 percent over the year before. According to Visit Florida, the state saw 118.5 million tourists last year-2 million higher than previous reports-- putting the state in good position to exceed that number this year. 

Of the tourists who visited during the first six months of 2018, the vast majority of them--58 million--were from other parts of the United States while 5.2 million came from overseas and 2.3 million from Canada. More than 28 million tourists came during the second quarter of 2018, up 7.1 percent from the second quarter of 2017. 

Scott weighed in on the strong tourism numbers. 

“Florida’s tourism industry and our entire economy continue to flourish,” the governor said. “After having record-breaking tourism in 2017, Florida started off the first half of 2018 by welcoming back-to-back record quarters of visitors. These record-breaking achievements allow our economy to create more jobs and adds to our success of having nearly 1.6 million private-sector jobs created in seven and a half years while our state’s unemployment rate is the lowest in over a decade.”

Ken Lawson, the president and CEO of Visit Florida, also reacted to the new tourism data. 

“Back-to-back record quarters in the first six months of this year show that the Florida tourism industry has continued its tremendous momentum,” Lawson said. “Visit Florida will continue to develop cutting edge marketing programs that highlight the diversity of our state so that we can attract more visitors, create more jobs, and make Florida the number one vacation destination in the world.”


READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS

Florida Started 2018 With Record High Quarter for Tourism

Scott Announces Another $3 Million for Counties Impacted by Red Tide

Comments

Not to seem indifferent to our very real Red Tide/Green Algae problem here in Florida, isn't it just typical for the naysayers to completely ignore the incredibly good news we've just received regarding the tourist stats that show people are doing very well and spending discretionary money in our state? As predicted, our country and especially our state are doing very well under the Trump administration and we want to make sure we continue in the right direction going forward. There is a lot of work still to be done in the US House and Senate and here in our own State House and Senate. If you are truly grateful for our country's excellent economy and want to see it get even better for all Americans, be sure to get out and vote for Republicans this coming November. If you complacently sit home and ignore your duty to vote, you can see all of this good economy and your Federal tax relief disappear overnight. I'm sorry the far left has taken over the Democratic Party but that is their problem to fix. With Rick Scott and Ron Desantis pounding on President Trump's door every day, there is a very good chance the Feds will finally get busy helping Florida fix this tide and algae problem. Let's celebrate the wonderful Florida tourist stat and get busy working to increase that number even higher next year.

Judging by the commentary trying to weaponize this as a political finger pointing excercise, y'all are missing one grave point. Red tide/green algae has been systematically a re-occurring phenomena during my five decades of living in Florida. The Federal government, particularly the Corp of Engineers needs to solve this problem of Lake O discharging nutrient rich water into the waterways running into the Gulf/Ocean to keep the dikes from failing. Better solutions need to be found.

I got you by a decade. Yes the conquistadors reported seeing the red tide in the 1500's. But where is the red tide worst? The place where the Caloosahatchee and the Gulf waters meet. Salt water kills the blue green algae on contact, once dead it acts as a nutrient for the organisms known as red tide. And it isn't the dikes, it's failure to go ahead with construction of the reservoir, failure to proceed with the land buy out plan put together while Crist was governor and squelched by Rick Scott and the GOP legislature as too expensive (and because it was opposed by Dixie Crystals). Scott has run this place like a robot with a calculator. Not only a reservoir, we need to get serious about enforcing our environmental laws instead of gutting them. Ancient Bill Nelson proposed using eminent domain to take the land necessary, Gillum favors it, Desantis should, instead of promising to continue the work of Scott. The state has this power, not Bill Nelson or Marco. Had we started 8 years ago, maybe this would not be weaponized.

copied directly from the partisan playbook to try to shift blame to the Feds for the nightmarish algae issues. While partially correct, these issues have existed for years, nothing close to this level has ever perpetuated itself until shortly after the gutting of the regulatory budgets of the state EPA and SWFWMD and the deregulation of septic tanks. Although the feds, do have some culpability in this issue, it pales in comparison to the environmental disasters put in place in this state by the powers that be in this state.

Yeah, right up until the green slime and red tide hit. Wait till the second half numbers come out and you will see the nose dive.

Great numbers for the State. And happy to see that even though we had record rainfall, no flooding was recorded anywhere in the State. Congratulations go to the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake "O" and the South Florida Water Management District for keeping all of us in South Florida dry. That said, there is huge work to be done cleaning the water BEFORE it goes into the Lake. Pollution going down the estuaries is not home grown - at least 50% is from Lake O. Current plans need to be moved on with significant escalation before the tourists abandon Martin and Lee County's. It is past time for the Florida legislators at the federal level to get the US Government to pay their fair share. Our State has done its job and is ahead of schedule - it is the US Government that is holding things up and causing the pollution. Bill Nelson - you have been in office for decades - we need funding now!! Marco Rubio - this is a huge issue for areas north of Miami - we need you. The same to all our reps. We need storage and filtration NORTH of Lake O before dirty water gets into the Lake and is released to the east and west.

"Our state has done it's job and is ahead of schedule" ranks with "You're doing a heckuva job Brownie!" There's nobody else who doesn't see that Scott, by weakening the state DEP, gutting the science staff at the WMD's and appointing lawyers to replace scientists hasn't played a role in this mess. When he cut the budget he either didn't understand, or didn't care about the consequences. He's a numbers guy. Put up numbers for tourism for the last half of the year (compare July and August of this year to last), extrapolate the likely totals. The cost to fix this mess will dwarf the money he saved looking as always for the quick buck. You guys put Goebbels to shame. Loss of environmental spending: $700 million x 8 years? Get the fox out of the hen house.

Better do something about red tide and Green algae or that will not continue to be the case.The South West Coast of Florida is still reeling from water quality issues.. Beach communities are hurting.. When will the root causes of our poor water quality be addressed?

In terms of water quality issues, this state may be past the point of no return. Scott and Putnam have been disasters in terms of environmental issues and may have pushed the problem beyond resolution.

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