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JACKSONVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) — Florida continued to bring in a record number of tourists during a year in which we had two hurricanes hit and federal officials telling pregnant women to avoid Miami because of the Zika virus.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday that 85 million tourists visited the state during the first nine months of 2016.

“Today, I am proud to announce that Florida continues to set record breaking success by already welcoming 85 million visitors this year –  the most visitors over the first nine months in our state’s history.  We are also at a record high of over 1.2 million Floridians employed in our tourism industry and on pace to reach our goal of 115 million tourists by the end of the year,” said Governor Scott.

State officials say that’s a 5.5 percent increase over last year.

Scott in a statement said the record numbers show how well Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm, is doing its job. Incoming House Speaker Richard Corcoran has questioned continued funding of the organization.

The governor noted that record numbers of tourists visited the state despite the Zika outbreak, hurricanes and the tragic attack at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead.

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Comments
  1. He is lying. Ask any restaurant owner or small business owner in South Beach. Ask the real estate brokers. They are all talking about how slow business is. The good news is that it makes it easy to get in those hard-to-reserve restaurants! CBS News should follow this story.