In the first six months of 2019, Florida has seen record tourism numbers according to new figures from Visit Florida and the governor’s office.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Thursday that almost 69 million tourists visited the Sunshine State during the first half of the year, beating the record high figure from last year by 5.6 percent. Most of those tourists--61.2 million--are Americans while 2.4 million came from Canada and 5.2 million from overseas.
DeSanits noted how the state’s economy continues to rely on tourism.
“Florida’s economy has grown this year as record amounts of travelers come to Florida to experience everything our beautiful state has to offer,” DeSantis said on Thursday. “The revenue generated by out-of-state visitation has kept taxes low while allowing us to invest in priorities like environmental protection, transportation and education. We will continue to work to make sure that Florida remains the world’s premier vacation destination.”
“Back-to-back record quarters in the first six months of this year demonstrate that the Florida tourism industry has continued to produce results,” said Dana Young, the president and CEO of Visit Florida. “Visit Florida will continue to develop cutting edge marketing programs that highlight our state so that we can attract more visitors, create more jobs, and make Florida the world’s number one place to take a vacation. We appreciate Governor DeSantis for his leadership and support for Florida’s iconic tourism industry.”
The tourism numbers were helped by a solid second quarter which saw 29.6 million domestic visitors, up 5.8 percent from that time last year, even as there was only a 1.4 percent increase in the number of international tourists.
During the second quarter of 2019, Florida’s major airports saw the number of enplanments grow 5.5 percent to 33.1 million enplaned passengers. However, hotel rooms did not keep up with that pace as the number sold from April through June increased 1.9 percent from 2018 while Florida’s average daily room rate (ADR) increased by 2.0 percent.
Florida had a record high 127 million tourists last year.