By The News Service of Florida
Florida tourism grew a little more than 1 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period a year ago, with overseas tourist numbers continuing to lag, according to estimates released Wednesday by Visit Florida.
The state’s tourism-marketing arm reported 31.6 million people visited the Sunshine State between July 1 and Sept. 30, up from 31.261 million in the same period last year. The quarterly numbers are bolstered by people traveling from other states into Florida, accounting for 28.6 million of the visitors, a 1.7 percent increase from the third quarter of 2018.
Canadian tourists went up from 490,000 last year to 499,000, while overseas travelers went from 2.653 million a year ago to 2.6 million.
Among the latest numbers, Visit Florida noted that passengers through the state’s 19 major airports grew 2.5 percent compared to the third quarter in 2018, while hotel room nights dropped 0.7 percent in the same time. Through the first nine months of this year, the state estimates it has had 101.09 million visitors.
As part of Wednesday’s release, the agency adjusted down its second-quarter numbers from 33.1 million to 32.9 million. In 2018, when the state attracted a record 126.98 million visitors, 97.54 million came during the first nine months of the year.