MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Governor Rick Scott stopped by South Florida to tout the state’s latest record tourism numbers.
On Monday, Scott visited Miami’s Jungle Island where he will announce that 31.1 million people visited the state during the first three months of the year. That’s a 2.5 percent jump over the same time period in 2016.
Nearly 113 million tourists — most of them from the U.S. — visited last year.
Scott, however, warned that potential cuts to Florida’s tourism marketing agency Visit Florida could doom continued growth. Scott had requested $100 million, but lawmakers approved only $25 million.
“In business, you would never stop marketing when you start to see great results,” Scott said in a prepared statement. “Instead of decimating funding to Visit Florida, we should be investing in tourism marketing so we can continue to bring record visitors to our state.”
Visit Florida, which has faced media scrutiny because of some controversial contracts, received $78 million for tourism marketing during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.
If Scott signs the new state budget the cuts will take effect in July. Scott hinted he may veto the budget.
Legislative leaders have defended the cuts by pointing to questionable Visit Florida contracts.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)