Florida’s tourism industry has set an important record by welcoming the highest amount of visitors of any six months in the state’s history with 54.1 million visitors.
This record amount of visitors represents a 5.8% increase when compared to the same period last year.
In the second quarter of 2015 (April -June), 25.8 million visitors came to the state, an increase of 5.5% over the year.
The average number of direct travel-related jobs in Q2 2015 was also a record high, with 1,213,500 Floridians employed in the tourism industry – up 4.9% over the year.
Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “Our growing tourism industry employs over 1.2 million Floridians and is helping us meet our goal of becoming the best place in the world for jobs. We are excited to mark the first half of 2015 with our biggest second quarter ever, and we look forward to exceeding our goal of 100 million visitors to Florida this year.”
Visit Florida estimates that 2.7 million overseas visitors and 1.2 million Canadians came to Florida in Q2 2015. Estimates also show that 21.9 million domestic visitors travelled to Florida in Q2 2015, reflecting a 6.8% increase over the same period last year. Preliminary figures for the first half of 2015 show 45.7 million domestic visitors, 5.5 million overseas visitors and 2.9 million Canadians visited the Sunshine State, representing increases of 6.7%, 1.7% and 1.1% respectively.
“The continued growth of tourism for the second quarter, including a record number of tourism related jobs, puts Florida on pace for a fifth consecutive record breaking year,” said John Tomlin, Chair of the Visit Florida Board of Directors. “These records also emphasise the power of tourism as an economic leader and job creator for the state. Results like these are the direct result of the vision and support of the Governor and Legislature, as well as world-class strategies and execution by the Visit Florida staff.”
Tourism and recreation taxable sales for Florida increased year-on-year for January through May 2015 (last reported month), representing a 9% increase over the same period in 2014. For Q2 2015, ADR rose 4.7%, OR at hotels in Florida increased 2.9% and the demand in rooms sold grew 4.4% compared to Q2 2014.