The sunshine state of Florida has seen increased numbers of overseas visitors in 2011, according to figures from the region’s tourist board Visit Florida.
2.2 million international visitors travelled to Florida in the second quarter of 2011 – a 17.3 per cent increase on figures for the same period in 2010. Taking figures for the period from April to June in 2011, visitor numbers grew by 6.9 per cent compared with the same period in 2010, with 21.2 million people finding flights to Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Florida’s other international airports.
The state governor of Florida, Rick Scott, said that tourism was “a cornerstone of the Florida economy” and said that he was “greatly encouraged” by the boost in international visitor numbers to the state in 2011.
“There are more people working in Florida tourism than any other industry,” added Tony Lapi, the chairman of the board of directors for Visit Florida. “Florida is the number one travel destination in the world because of the hospitality and professionalism of over one million tourism industry employees who provide an unparalleled vacation experience for our visitors,” he added.
Visitors are attracted to Florida by the region’s warm and sunny climate, as well as the quality and variety of attractions on offer in the state. Orlando’s theme parks are perhaps unrivalled anywhere in the world, with Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida being particular favourites for families, while cities such as Miami and Jacksonville provide visitors with a wealth of entertainment.
For science and space fans, Florida’s Kennedy Space Centre is also a major draw, offering the chance to get up close to some of NASA’s technology and meet the astronauts who used it.