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