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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Gov. Rick Scott was in Miami Monday to announce that even with the hit we took from Hurricane Irma, 2017 is already a record breaker for Florida tourism.
A locally-owned ice cream shop in Little Havana’s Calle Ocho was the site of Scott’s major announcement.
“Tourism is very important to our state. I just had the opportunity to announce that we had over 88 million tourists in the state of Florida the first nine months of the year. These are record numbers,” Gov. Scott said.
According to Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, out of those 88.2 million a total of 77.6 million were domestic visitors, 7.9 million overseas visitors and 2.7 million Canadians visitors.
The record represents a 3.3 percent increase from the same period in 2016.
Gov. Scott is hoping to meet another record by year’s end.
“My goal this year is to get up to 120 million tourists. Every 76 tourists is another Florida job,” he said.
The record numbers come despite Hurricane Irma battering the state in September and leaving many without power.
Gov. Scott says Visit Florida’s aggressive marketing efforts letting families across the world know that Florida was open for business paid off.
“When I got elected we were running about 80 million tourists a year. We’ve increased the funding for Visit Florida. This year it’s $76 million. My goal next year will be $100 million, which means we’ll get more tourists and we’ll get more Florida jobs,” he said.