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State Touts Record Tourism Numbers

Michael Newhouse, Florida tourism Brochure

The state’s tourism officials say Florida broke records in 2013 in nearly every tourism category. The group is already setting lofty goals for this year.

Preliminary numbers show the state hosted about 95-million visitors in 2013. Governor Rick Scott says he wants to see that number keep growing and he’s requesting $100-million in the next budget to help make it happen. Visit Florida Chief Marketing Officer Paul Phipps says he thinks it can be done.

"Whether you’re young families, young and free, mature boomers--we are number one  in every one of those categories. Florida is the number one destination for domestic leisure travel and it’s certainly, if it’s not number one, it’s among the top in the world,” Phipps said.

But Phipps says those numbers don’t come organically. Visit Florida builds a marketing plan each year, which he says has become an example for other tourist organizations around the country. He adds the month of January saw year-over-year growth from 2013 to 2014, too.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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