|Photo by freeimages.com/Andrey Asadchev|
by The Associated Press, February 19, 2016
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Florida saw a record number of tourists flock to its beaches, theme parks and cities last year, according to new numbers announced Thursday by Gov. Rick Scott.
Some 105 million tourists visited Florida in 2015, according to preliminary estimates prepared by Visit Florida, the state's tourism marketing arm.
The new total beats the previous high of nearly 99 million and it marks the fifth year in a row that a record number of tourists came to Florida.
Scott, who has pushed for more money for tourism marketing while he's been governor, announced the new numbers at Disney World.
"Tourism plays an important role in supporting our economy, and we will continue to make strategic investments in the tourism industry to keep Florida on track to becoming first for jobs," Scott said in a statement.
Scott says he wants the number of visiting tourists jump to 115 million during this calendar year.
Visit Florida estimates that most of those visiting Florida — nearly 90 million — came from the United States. Estimates show that 11.2 million tourists came from overseas and that about 4 million came from Canada.
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