Visit Flordia just announced that Florida drew in 126.1 million out-of-state visitors in 2018, setting a tourism record for the eighth consecutive year in a row. This was a 6.2 percent jump over the previous record set in 2017, the state tourism marketing agency said.
Visit Florida President and CEO Dana Young said the flood of new tourists could be credited at least in part to a targeted publicity push by her organization. “Visit Florida and the tourism industry have achieved unprecedented success,’’ Young said.
Despite overall growth, overseas visitors to Florida dropped by 1 percent to 10.8 million. The falloff was led by a 6 percent drop in tourists from Great Britain to 1.5 million. Canadian tourism was up from 3 percent to 3,447,000. The number of visitors from Brazil, meanwhile, grew 8 percent to 1,110,000. Domestically, the greatest percentage of visitors to Florida came from Georgia (9.6 percent), New York (8.5 percent) and Texas (5.5 percent).
The number of visitors grew as Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld all competed to open more attractions in 2018. And it won’t stop there. In late 2019, Disney is expected to debut Star Wars Land, which tourism experts are predicting will attract even more massive crowds.
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