Florida continues to see record tourism with a strong first half of 2018, Gov. Rick Scott announced on Wednesday morning. 

Scott announced that 65.5 million visitors came to the Sunshine State in the first six months of the year, up almost 6 percent over the year before. According to Visit Florida, the state saw 118.5 million tourists last year-2 million higher than previous reports– putting the state in good position to exceed that number this year. 

Of the tourists who visited during the first six months of 2018, the vast majority of them–58 million–were from other parts of the United States while 5.2 million came from overseas and 2.3 million from Canada. More than 28 million tourists came during the second quarter of 2018, up 7.1 percent from the second quarter of 2017. 

Scott weighed in on the strong tourism numbers. 

“Florida’s tourism industry and our entire economy continue to flourish,” the governor said. “After having record-breaking tourism in 2017, Florida started off the first half of 2018 by welcoming back-to-back record quarters of visitors. These record-breaking achievements allow our economy to create more jobs and adds to our success of having nearly 1.6 million private-sector jobs created in seven and a half years while our state’s unemployment rate is the lowest in over a decade.”

Ken Lawson, the president and CEO of Visit Florida, also reacted to the new tourism data. 

“Back-to-back record quarters in the first six months of this year show that the Florida tourism industry has continued its tremendous momentum,” Lawson said. “Visit Florida will continue to develop cutting edge marketing programs that highlight the diversity of our state so that we can attract more visitors, create more jobs, and make Florida the number one vacation destination in the world.”


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