TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida's tourism industry is on pace for another record year.
VISIT FLORIDA, the state's public-private tourism agency, on Thursday released a preliminary estimate showing the state had 21.9 million visitors in the third quarter of 2012. That's a 3.5 per cent increase over the same four-month period last year.
Direct travel-related employment, though, increased only 1.5 per cent, adding 15,000 jobs in July through October.
Tourism and recreational sales totalled $49 billion in the third quarter, a 7.5 per cent increase from the same period in 2011. Hotel occupancy increased 1.7 per cent and average room rates increased 3.3 per cent.
Domestic visitors were up 3.2 per cent and international visitors increased 5.5 per cent. That includes a 4 per cent increase in Canadian travellers.