Florida’s fishing industry is one of the largest in the country and that includes fishing tourism. A new study shows the tourism has an almost $5 billion economic impact in the state.
Florida TaxWatch, a non-partisan research firm in Tallahassee, released a study that said Florida’s fishing tourism nets $36 million in fishing licenses alone. Additionally, fishing tourism supports more than 80,000 jobs across the state’s service and hospitality industries. TaxWatch Chief Economist Jerry Parrish says when tourists come to fish in Florida, they come ready to spend some clams.
“Well, these, in a lot of cases people just spend one day of fishing while they’re already here in Florida as part of their vacation but some do specifically come here to fish, and a lot of those guys are sport fishers and they’re saltwater fisherman, and they spend a lot more than the typical tourist coming in to Florida,” Parrish points out.
More than 1 million non-residents dropped their bait in Florida in the past year. When you include residents who fished, that number jumps to more than 3 million. Gov. Rick Scott has declared this Labor Day a license-free fishing day in order to lure more fishers to the state during the holiday.