Record Year for Tourism

From Florida’s sugar sand beaches to globally-known amusement parks, there’s a little, or a lot of something for everyone to do.

Ohio native Russell Ham and his wife were exploring the Sunshine State Thursday, venturing around the Florida Panhandle.

“The Gulf Coast is beautiful and that’s phenomenal. The seafood is outstanding and everyone knows how to cook it,” said Russell Ham.

For the second quarter this year more and more tourist are coming to Florida whether its by air or by road making these travel guides a useful tool for tourists.

Earlier this summer, the Sunshine State didn’t look too appealing. Record rainfall drenched many popular tourist destinations. But, the numbers show Mother Nature didn’t slow people from coming to Florida.

“Tourism is a growth industry in the state. It’s what we build our foundation on. 85 visitors equals one job,” said Tony Carvejal.

Between April and June, more than 19-million US tourists came to Florida. Another 3.7 million foreigners also visited the state.

“We are growing and its other people telling us that Florida is the place they want to be,” said Carvejal.

Visitors say they aren’t surprised by the record numbers.

“It’s a good place to visit. I enjoy it, I come here as much as I can,” said William Epperson.

Florida has seen record tourism growth in since the end of 2010, the state says the growth proves Florida is on its way to being the number one travel destination in the world.

Florida officials hope to have at least 100-thousand visitors annually in the next couple of years.