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tourism

Bay News 9

Florida is still getting a record number of tourists even though the state was hit by a devastating hurricane.

In some parts of the Keys, people are still salvaging what they can of their belongings, or figuring out where they will live.

In Key West, local and state leaders gathered Wednesday to send one message: they are open for business.

"Restaurants are open. Hotels are open. Every tourist in the country, in the world, needs to come back to Key West and the Florida Keys," said Gov. Rick Scott.

He spoke at an oceanfront hotel flanked by Key West officials and tourism promoters who were carrying conch shells and waving Conch Republic flags.

Florida Prepares For Tourism Season After Irma

Oct 2, 2017

Two months from now, the Atlantic hurricane season ends, just as Florida’s tourism season begins.

Gov. Rick Scott announced last month that Florida had the highest number of visitors in a six-month period in its history. Nearly 61 million people visited the state in the first half of 2017.

Hurricane Irma’s state-engulfing radar signature and widespread damage will be a hard image to shake, but tourism experts say Florida’s biggest industry will rebound.

Wikimedia Commons

As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, tourism-related businesses are preparing for a potentially catastrophic impact.

Visit Florida Facebook page

Florida's tourism marketing agency paid nearly $441,000 in employee bonuses this summer despite months of scrutiny from legislators over spending.

Photo: ucobserver.org

The number of tourists visiting Florida continues to grow.

Mary Shedden / WUSF Public Media

Tourism brought in an estimated $109 billion a year to Florida at last count. This week on Florida Matters we’re taking a look at the current state of Florida’s number one industry.


Renata Sago / WMFE

A record 43.1 million passengers passed through Orlando International Airport in the past year. The latest data show domestic travel climbed 5.95 percent, with more than 37 million people moving through the airport. International traffic also grew to 5.7 million passengers, a 4.45 percent increase from a year ago.

Visit Florida Facebook page

This week on Florida Matters we're talking about the latest in tourism. The state's number one industry was at the center of a battle during this past legislative session.


Florida Surpasses Texas In Airport Passengers

Jul 18, 2017
Tampa International Airport

Gov. Rick Scott spent the past week touting the state's move ahead of Texas in the overall number of passengers boarding airplanes.

Scott Signs Economic Development, School Funding BIlls

Jun 27, 2017
Office of the Governor

Gov. Rick Scott signed 29 bills late Monday, including measures boosting spending on education, tourism marketing and economic development.

Marc Haze / WUSF News

It's that time of year to hit the beach and soak up some rays, but in some areas erosion means there's not a lot of places to build a sand castle.

A bill awaiting Gov. Scott's signature - or possible veto - would mean $50 million for beach renourishment. This week on Florida Matters we'll talk about whether that funding is enough to tackle the issue of beach erosion across the state.


A new study shows shark-related diving in Florida is a growing business, generating some $221 million annually for shops and other providers.

One of the big debates taking shape this legislative session is about state involvement in economic development. The capitol’s powerbrokers are picking sides in the battle, which is threatening to derail session before it even begins.

Bay News 9

Florida had another record-setting year for tourism despite natural disasters, a virus outbreak and a tragic attack on an Orlando nightclub.

Wikimedia Commons

Walt Disney World is increasing single-day tickets at certain times of the year and setting expiration dates on tickets in hopes of preventing overcrowding during its parks' busiest times.

The Florida House is tightening the noose around two state agencies.  The idea faces high hurdles in the Senate and the governor’s mansion, but the fight sets the stage for big cuts as lawmakers develop spending plans.

amagill / Flickr

Florida's embattled tourism agency handed out multimillion dollar contracts to a federal partnership run by a former agency executive and for a cooking show with celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse after outrage for the state's secret $1 million deal with rapper Pitbull.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

You can hear the National Championship Fanfest before you ever get a glimpse of the flashing lights, huge video screens and brightly colored banners.

It’s just a ride up the escalator to second floor of the Tampa Convention Center and then a step into the cavernous hall where your instantly blasted by the musical rhythms coming from the Dance Off stage.

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