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Economy / Business

Florida Tourism Rates Grow 2.4 Percent in First Quarter of 2012

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Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Florida's official tourism company, Visit Florida says in the months of January-March tourism has grown 2.4 percent compared to the same time last year.

23.4 million visitors came through Florida in the first quarter of 2012. The largest percentage increase of visitors came from overseas tourists, that rate was 13 percent. Domestic visitors' percentage rate increased 1.2 percent and the percentage increase from Canadian visitors was 2.7 percent.

CEO of Visit Florida Chris Thompson said, "I'm pleased to say the big story for tourism in 2012 is that we are building on a record year with growth and increased visitor spending."

Direct travel-related employment also increased 1.9 percent. There's 19,200 more jobs now than this time around last year making the total number of jobs now slightly more than 1 million.

Chairman of Visit Florida Tony Lapi said, "We know that every 85 visitors support one Florida job, so the continued increase in travelers to our great state equals a strengthened Florida economy and much needed employment."