TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) – From the sun soaked beaches of South Florida and the Gulf to the House of the Mouse near Orlando, Florida posted record tourism numbers in 2011.

Visit Florida said 85.9 million people visited the state last year; an estimated total was a 4.4 percent increase over 2010 and the highest number since 2007.

The number shows Florida tourism industry has rebounded from a crippling recession and 2010 oil spill that kept visitors away from its beaches and attractions.

The increases in Florida outpace the rest of the country.

Officials said the rebound was helped by large increases in visitors from Brazil and a dramatic turnaround by the Panhandle beaches in the first full year after the oil spill.

Visit Florida said estimates show a 3-percent increase in domestic visitors, a 5.7-percent increase in Canadian visitors and a 16-percent increase in overseas visitors.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  1. ConcernedCitizen says:

    I appreciate that tourism is up and resorts are getting a well deserved increase. The only thing that bothers me as a local is how rude most of them are to the local people who live here and work to make their visit happy and relaxing. The Canadians seem to be the worst, speaking french and wanting you to understand them. If I went to Canada, I’m sure they would not speak English to me. I guess it should go, when in Rome, learn and know where you are visiting and what the customs are.

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