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Florida Tourism Sees Boom In First Quarter

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(CBS4)

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ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami/AP) – In just three months, 26 million people have visited the Sunshine State, making the first quarter of 2013’s tourism record-breaking.

According to Visit Florida, the hike in the number of tourists in the first months of 2013  are greater than any other quarter in the state’s history.

Compared to January, February and March of last year, the preliminary numbers show a 4.7 percent increase in visitors.

Direct travel-related employment in the first quarter of 2013 was also a record high, with 1,087,700 Floridians employed in the tourism industry. That’s a 3.4 percent increase, adding 35,700 jobs since this time one year ago.

Visit Florida officials say that in 2012 visitation numbers to the state were about 91.4 million — that figure includes 77.6 million domestic visitors, 10.2 million overseas travelers and 3.6 million Canadians.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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