Tourism increased 2.4 percent in the first quarter of the year from the same period of 2011, adding 19,200 jobs.
The 1.9 percent increase in tourist-related employment brought the number of vacation- and travel-related jobs to 1,027,500, according to a release from the state’s tourism arm Visit Florida.
“On the heels of a record year for the Florida tourism industry in 2011, it’s encouraging to see the trend of more visitors and more jobs extending into 2012,” Gov. Rick Scott stated in a release. “As the state’s top industry and the leading driver of a rebounding economy, Visit Florida and the entire Florida tourism industry are well on their way to making the Sunshine State the No. 1 travel destination in the world.”
Of the 23.4 million visitors in the first three months of the year, 19.7 million were Americans, 2.4 million from overseas and 1.4 million from Canada. Each was an increase from the first quarter of 2011.
Speaking on WFLA 100.7 FM in Tallahassee on Wednesday morning, Scott said he wanted the number of tourists to Florida to be significantly larger
next year as part of the Viva 500 celebration.