Tourists continue to visit Florida in record numbers

A year earlier, the state estimated 29.8 million visitors during the first three months.

He tweeted Monday, attributing the growth in tourism to the funding of Visit Florida.

More than 30 million tourists came to the Sunshine State during the first three months of the year; a 2.5 percent jump over last year.

If the governor decides to sign the new budget, it will take effect in July. "In business, you would never stop marketing when you start to see great results", he said. Governor Rick Scott has also criticized the Syrian refugee program under the Obama administration that sought to relocate Syrians in Florida. But there had been a much steeper decline in first-quarter 2016 from 2015 in those two categories: 16.8 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively. A Visit Florida spokesman said that the reference to Syria was an error, and the contract was changed after this was brought to their attention. However, the record number comes at a time when state lawmakers want to cut money to promote Florida tourism.

"Visit Florida has zero marketing efforts in Syria and did not plan to market in Syria", Tupps said.

"With all the attractions in the state and the natural resources that we have here, I believe people are going to continue coming to Florida and visiting Florida. I can veto the whole budget, I can veto a portion of the budget, a line of the budget, I can do special session, so I'm looking at all those options", Scott told reporters at a press conference on Miami's Jungle Island. It marked the eighth consecutive year of tourism growth in the county.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Republican from Land 'O Lakes, contends people are driven to travel more by their personal finances than by state marketing.

Visit Florida says the lack of funding will make it harder for the state to compete with other tourist destinations like California, and could possibly lead to the state losing billions of dollars in revenue. "1.4 million jobs in our state are tied to tourism".

  • Delores Daniels