MIAMI (CBSMiami) – People come from all over the place to spend some time on the world famous Ocean Drive and our beaches are well known around the globe and it seems word is spreading like never before.
“We’ve been hitting record tourism numbers quarter after quarter after quarter,” bragged Florida Governor Rick Scott, “and that’s more and more jobs.”
Governor Scott stopped at Miami International Airport to tout record tourism numbers.
“Over the last 12 months, more than 100 million tourists have come to our state,” he said. “Why is that important?” he asked. “For every 85 tourists, is another job in our state.”
Now the question is what will happen as more Americans head to Cuba because of easing restrictions.
“I would love to check out Cuba,” said South Beach Tourist Johnny Knives. “We go to Costa Rica a lot. I like the South American countries. I think they’re great!”
“I wouldn’t feel as safe,” said Melinda Smith who’s visiting from Virginia.
Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera and the governor’s office don’t see it as a threat to our record numbers.
“Frankly,” said Lopez Cantera, “any tourist that wants to go to a country that is watching everything they do, even if they don’t know it, that wouldn’t be an exciting destination for me.”
Tourism officials from Great Fort Lauderdale see it as an opportunity. They figure many people will fly through South Florida to get there or catch a Cuba-bound cruise from South Florida.
“I think it will be a great infusion of interest in cruising from South Florida,” said Kim Butler of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Visitor and Convention Bureau, “so that there’ll be pre and post cruise opportunities to spend some time in South Florida before they go on their cruise and afterwards.”
The governor said now that Florida has reached that goal of 100 million tourists in a one year period, he set another one. Now he wants to see a 105 million visitors.